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The  First  Complete  and  Authorised  English  Translation 


Dr    OSCAR    LEVY 



("LA    GAYA    SCIENZA") 




First  Edition,  One  Thousand 
Five  Hundred  Copies,  pub- 
lished September  igio 

Second    Reprint    of    Twelve 

Hundred  and  Fifty  Copies, 

reprinted  191 5 

Of    the    Third    Reprint    of 

One  Thousand  Five  Hundred 

Copies  this  is 

.     3743 




("LA    GAYA    SCIENZA") 




PAUL    V.    COHN 



/  stay  to  mine  own  house  confined. 
Nor  graft  my  wits  on  alien  stock: 

And  mock  at  every  master  mind 
That  never  at  itself  could  mock. 




First  published  .      September  1910 

Reprinted 1914 

Reprinted 1924 



{All  rights  reserved) 

Printed  in  Great  Britain  hy 



Editorial  Note page  vii 

Preface  to  the  Second  Edition       -        -  »»  i 

Jest,  Ruse,  and  Revenge  :  A  Prelude  in 

Rhyme „  n 

Book  First „  29 

Book  Second „  93 

Book  Third      -       -       -       -       -        -  „  149 

Book  Fourth:  Sanctus  J anuarius  -        -  „  211 

Book  Fifth:  We  Fearless  Ones       -  „  273 

Appendix  :  Songs  of  Prince  Free-as-a-Bird  „  355 


"The  Joyful  Wisdom,"  written  in  1882,  just  before 
"  Zarathustra,"  is  rightly  judged  to  be  one  of 
Nietzsche's  best  books.  Here  the  essentially  grave 
and  masculine  face  of  the  poet-philosopher  is  seen 
to  light  up  and  suddenly  break  into  a  delightful 
smile.  The  warmth  and  kindness  that  beam  from 
his  features  will  astonish  those  hasty  psychologists 
who  have  never  divined  that  behind  the  destroyer 
is  the  creator,  and  behind  the  blasphemer  the  lover 
of  life.  In  the  retrospective  valuation  of  his  work 
which  appears  in  "  Ecce  Homo "  the  author  him- 
self observes  with  truth  that  the  fourth  book, 
"Sanctus  Januarius,"  deserves  especial  attention: 
"The  whole  book  is  a  gift  from  the  Saint,  and 
the  introductory  verses  express  my  gratitude  for 
the  most  wonderful  month  of  January  that  I  have 
ever  spent."  Book  fifth  "  We  Fearless  Ones," 
the  Appendix  "  Songs  of  Prince  Free-as-a-Bird," 
and  the  Preface,  were  added  to  the  second  edition 
in  1887. 

The  translation  of  Nietzsche's  poetry  has  proved 


to  be  a  more  embarrassing  problem  than  that  of 
his  prose.  Not  only  has  there  been  a  difficulty  in 
finding  adequate  translators — a  difficulty  overcome, 
it  is  hoped,  by  the  choice  of  Miss  Petre  and  Mr 
Cohn, — but  it  cannot  be  denied  that  even  in  the 
original  the  poems  are  of  unequal  merit.  By  the 
side  of  such  masterpieces  as  "  To  the  Mistral "  are 
several  verses  of  comparatively  little  value.  The 
Editor,  however,  did  not  feel  justified  in  making  a 
selection,  as  it  was  intended  that  the  edition  should 
be  complete.  The  heading,  "Jest,  Ruse  and 
Revenge,"  of  the  "Prelude  in  Rhyme"  is  borrowed 
from  Goethe. 



Perhaps  more  than  one  preface  would  be  necessary 
for  this  book;  and  after  all  it  might  still  be  doubtful 
whether  any  one  could  be  brought  nearer  to  the 
experiences  in  it  by  means  of  prefaces,  without 
having  himself  experienced  something  similar.  It 
seems  to  be  written  in  the  language  of  the  thawing- 
wind :  there  is  wantonness,  restlessness,  contra- 
diction and  April-weather  in  it ;  so  that  one  is 
as  constantly  reminded  of  the  proximity  of  winter  as 
of  the  victory  over  it :  the  victory  which  is  coming, 
which  must  come,  which  has  perhaps  already 
come.  .  .  .  Gratitude  continually  flows  forth,  as 
if  the  most  unexpected  thing  had  happened,  the 
gratitude  of  a  convalescent — for  convalescence  was 
this  most  unexpected  thing.  "  Joyful  Wisdom  "  : 
that  implies  the  Saturnalia  of  a  spirit  which  has 
patiently  withstood  a  long,  frightful  pressure — 
patiently,  strenuously,  impassionately,  without 
submitting,  but  without  hope — and  which  is  now 
suddenly  o'erpowered  with  hope,  the  hope  of 
health,  the  intoxication  of  convalescence.  What 
wonder  that  much  that  i«  unreasonable  and 
foolish  thereby  comes  to  light :  much  wanton 
tenderness    expended    even    on    problems   which 


have  a  prickly  hide,  and  are  not  therefore  fit  to  be 
fondled  and  allured.  The  whole  book  is  really 
nothing  but  a  revel  after  long  privation  and  im- 
potence :  the  frolicking  of  returning  energy,  of 
newly  awakened  belief  in  a  to-morrow  and  after- 
to-morrow  ;  of  sudden  sentience  and  prescience  of 
a  future,  of  near  adventures,  of  seas  open  once 
more,  and  aims  once  more  permitted  and  believed 
in.  And  what  was  now  all  behind  me!  This 
track  of  desert,  exhaustion,  unbelief,  and  frigidity 
in  the  midst  of  youth,  this  advent  of  grey 
hairs  at  the  wrong  time,  this  tyranny  of  pain, 
surpassed,  however,  by  the  tyranny  of  pride  which 
repudiated  the  consequences  of  pain — and  conse- 
quences are  comforts, — this  radical  isolation,  as 
defence  against  the  contempt  of  mankind  become 
morbidly  clairvoyant,  this  restriction  upon  principle 
to  all  that  is  bitter,  sharp,  and  painful  in  knowledge, 
as  prescribed  by  the  disgust  which  had  gradually 
resulted  from  imprudent  spiritual  diet  and  pamper- 
ing— it  is  called  Romanticism, — oh,  who  could 
realise  all  those  feelings  of  mine !  He,  however, 
who  could  do  so  would  certainly  forgive  me 
everything,  and  more  than  a  little  folly,  boisterous- 
ness  and  "  Joyful  Wisdom " — for  example,  the 
handful  of  songs  which  are  given  along  with 
the  book  on  this  occasion, — songs  in  which  a  poet 
makes  merry  over  all  poets  in  a  way  not  easily 
pardoned. — Alas,  it  is  not  only  on  the  poets 
and  their  fine  "  lyrical  sentiments "  that  this 
reconvalescent  must  vent  his  malignity :  who  knows 
what  kind  of  victim  he  seeks,  what  kind  of  monster 
of  material  for  parody  will  allure  him  ere  long? 


Incipit  tragcedia,  it  is  said  at  the  conclusion  of  this 
seriously  frivolous  book;  let  people  be  on  their 
guard  !  Something  or  other  extraordinarily  bad 
and  wicked  announces  itself:  incipit parodia^  there 
is  no  doubt.  .  . 


— But  let  us  leave  Herr  Nietzsche  ;  what  does  it 
matter  to  people  that  Herr  Nietzsche  has  got  well 
again  ?  .  .  .  A  psychologist  knows  few  questions 
so  attractive  as  those  concerning  the  relations  of 
health  to  philosophy,  and  in  the  case  when  he 
himself  falls  sick,  he  carries  with  him  all  his 
scientific  curiosity  into  his  sickness.  For,  granting 
that  one  is  a  person,  one  has  necessarily  also  the 
philosophy  of  one's  personality;  there  is,  however,  an 
important  distinction  here.  With  the  one  it  is  his 
defects  which  philosophise,  with  the  other  it  is  his 
riches  and  powers.  The  former  requires  his  philo- 
sophy, whether  it  be  as  support,  sedative,  or 
medicine,  as  salvation,  elevation,  or  self-alienation  ; 
with  the  latter  it  is  merely  a  fine  luxury,  at  best 
the  voluptuousness  of  a  triumphant  gratitude,  which 
must  inscribe  itself  ultimately  in  cosmic  capitals 
on  the  heaven  of  ideas.  In  the  other  more  usual 
case,  however,  when  states  of  distress  occupy  them- 
selves with  philosophy  (as  is  the  case  with  all  sickly 
thinkers— and  perhaps  the  sickly  thinkers  pre- 
ponderate in  the  history  of  philosophy),  what  will 
happen  to  the  thought  itself  which  is  brought 
under  the  pressure  of  sickness  ?  This  is  the  im- 
portant question  for  psychologists :  and  here 
experiment  is  possible.     We  philosophers  do  just 


like  a  traveller  who  resolves  to  awake  at  a  given 
hour,  and  then  quietly  yields  himself  to  sleep  :  we 
surrender  ourselves  temporarily,  body  and  soul,  to 
the  sickness,  supposing  we  become  ill — we  shut,  as 
it  were,  our  eyes  on  ourselves.  And  as  the  traveller 
knows  that  something  does  not  sleep,  that  something 
counts  the  hours  and  will  awake  him,  we  also  know 
that  the  critical  moment  will  find  us  awake — that 
then  something  will  spring  forward  and  surprise 
the  spirit  in  the  very  act,  I  mean  in  weakness,  or 
reversion,  or  submission,  or  obduracy,  or  obscurity, 
or  whatever  the  morbid  conditions  are  called,  which 
in  times  of  good  health  have  the  pride  of  the  spirit 
opposed  to  them  (for  it  is  as  in  the  old  rhyme: 
"  The  spirit  proud,  peacock  and  horse  are  the  three 
proudest  things  of  earthly  source").  After  such 
self-questioning  and  self-testing,  one  learns  to  look 
with  a  sharper  eye  at  all  that  has  hitherto  been 
philosophised ;  one  divines  better  than  before  the 
arbitrary  by-ways,  side-streets,  resting-places,  and 
sunny  places  of  thought,  to  which  suffering  thinkers, 
precisely  as  sufferers,  are  led  and  misled :  one 
knows  now  in  what  direction  the  sickly  body  and 
its  requirements  unconsciously  press,  push,  and 
allure  the  spirit — towards  the  sun,  stillness,  gentle- 
ness, patience,  medicine,  refreshment  in  any  sense 
whatever.  Every  philosophy  which  puts  peace 
higher  than  war,  every  ethic  with  a  negative  grasp 
of  the  idea  of  happiness,  every  metaphysic  and 
physic  that  knows  a  finale,  an  ultimate  condition 
of  any  kind  whatever,  every  predominating,  aesthetic 
or  religious  longing  for  an  aside,  a  beyond,  an  out- 
side, an  above — all  these  permit  one  to  ask  whether 


sickness  has  not  been  the  motive  which  inspired  the 
philosopher.  The  unconscious  disguising  of  physio- 
logical requirements  under  the  cloak  of  the  objective, 
the  ideal,  the  purely  spiritual,  is  carried  on  to  an 
alarming  extent, — and  I  have  often  enough  asked 
myself,  whether  on  the  whole  philosophy  hitherto 
has  not  generally  been  merely  an  interpreta- 
tion of  the  body,  and  a  misunderstanding  of  the 
body.  Behind  the  loftiest  estimates  of  value  by 
which  the  history  of  thought  has  hitherto  been 
governed,  misunderstandings  of  the  bodily  constitu- 
tion, either  of  individuals,  classes,  or  entire  races 
are  concealed.  One  may  always  primarily  consider 
these  audacious  freaks  of  metaphysic,  and  especially 
its  answers  to  the  question  of  the  worth  of  existence, 
as  symptoms  of  certain  bodily  constitutions;  and  if, 
on  the  whole,  when  scientifically  determined,  not  a 
particle  of  significance  attaches  to  such  affirma- 
tions and  denials  of  the  world,  they  nevertheless 
furnish  the  historian  and  psychologist  with  hints 
so  much  the  more  valuable  (as  we  have  said)  as 
symptoms  of  the  bodily  constitution,  its  good  or  bad 
condition,  its  fullness,  powerfulness,  and  sovereignty 
in  history  ;  or  else  of  its  obstructions,  exhaustions, 
and  impoverishments,  its  premonition  of  the  end, 
its  will  to  the  end.  I  still  expect  that  a  philo- 
sophical physician,  in  the  exceptional  sense  of  the 
word — one  who  applies  himself  to  the  problem  of 
the  collective  health  of  peoples,  periods,  races,  and 
mankind  generally — will  some  day  have  the  courage 
to  follow  out  my  suspicion  to  its  ultimate  con- 
clusions, and  to  venture  on  the  judgment  that  in 
all  philosophising  it  has  not  hitherto  been  a  question 


of  "  truth  "  at  all,  but  of  something  else, — namely, 
of  health,  futurity,  growth,  power,  life.  .  .  . 

It  will  be  surmised  that  I  should  not  like  to  take 
leave  ungratefully  of  that  period  of  severe  sickness, 
the  advantage  of  which  is  not  even  yet  exhausted 
in  me :  for  I  am  sufficiently  conscious  of  what  I 
have  in  advance  of  the  spiritually  robust  generally, 
in  my  changeful  state  of  health.  A  philosopher 
who  has  made  the  tour  of  many  states  of 
health,  and  always  makes  it  anew,  has  also  gone 
through  just  as  many  philosophies :  he  really 
cannot  do  otherwise  than  transform  his  condition 
on  every  occasion  into  the  most  ingenious  posture 
and  position, — this  art  of  transfiguration  is  just 
philosophy.  We  philosophers  are  not  at  liberty 
to  separate  soul  and  body,  as  the  people  separate 
them ;  and  we  are  still  less  at  liberty  to  separate 
soul  and  spirit.  We  are  not  thinking  frogs,  we 
are  not  objectifying  and  registering  apparatuses 
with  cold  entrails, — our  thoughts  must  be  continu- 
ally born  to  us  out  of  our  pain,  and  we  must, 
motherlike,  share  with  them  all  that  we  have  in 
us  of  blood,  heart,  ardour,  joy,  passion,  pang, 
conscience,  fate  and  fatality.  Life — that  means 
for  us  to  transform  constantly  into  light  and  flame 
all  that  we  are,  and  also  all  that  we  meet  with ; 
we  cannot  possibly  do  otherwise.  And  as  regards 
sickness,  should  we  not  be  almost  tempted  to  ask 
whether  we  could  in  general  dispense  with  it  ?  It 
is  great  pain  only  which  is  the  ultimate  emancipa- 
tor of  the  spirit ;  for  it  is  the  teacher  of  the  strong 


suspicion  which  makes  an  X  out  of  every  U*,  a  true, 
correct  X,  i.e.,  the  ante-penultimate  letter.  ...  It  is 
great  pain  only,  the  long  slow  pain  which  takes 
time,  by   which  we   are   burned   as  it  were  with 
green  wood,  that  compels  us  philosophers  to  de- 
scend into  our  ultimate  depths,  and  divest  ourselves 
of  all  trust,  all  good-nature,  veiling,  gentleness,  and 
averageness,  wherein   we   have   perhaps   formerly 
installed   our   humanity.     I    doubt   whether   such 
pain  "  improves  "  us ;  but  I  know  that  it  deepens 
us.     Be  it  that  we  learn  to  confront  it  with  our 
pride,  our  scorn,  our  strength  of  will,  doing  like  the 
Indian  who,  however  sorely  tortured,  revenges  him- 
self on  his  tormentor  with  his  bitter  tongue ;  be  it 
that  we  withdraw  from  the  pain  into  the  oriental 
nothingness— it    is    called    Nirvana, — into    mute, 
benumbed,   deaf    self-surrender,   self-forgetfulness, 
and  self-effacement :  one  emerges  from  such  long, 
dangerous  exercises  in  self-mastery  as  another  being, 
with  several  additional  notes  of  interrogation,  and 
above  all,  with  the  will  to  question  more  than  ever, 
more  profoundly,  more  strictly,  more  sternly,  more 
wickedly,  more  quietly  than  has  ever  been  ques- 
tioned hitherto.     Confidence  in   life  is  gone:   life 
itself  has  become  2.  problem. — Let  it  not  be  imagined 
that  one  ha.s  necessarily  become  a  hypochondriac 
thereby !     Even  love  of  life  is  still  possible — only 
one  loves  differently.     It  is  the  love  of  a  woman 
of  whom  one  is  doubtful.  .  .  .  The  charm,  how- 
ever, of  all  that  is  problematic,  the  delight  in  the 

*  This  means  literally  to  put  the  numeral  X  instead  of  the 
numeral  V  (formerly  U) ;  hence  it  means  to  double  a  number 
unfairly,  to  exaggerate,  humbug,  cheat.— Tr. 


X,  is  too  great  in  those  more  spiritual  and  more 
spiritualised  men,  not  to  spread  itself  again  and 
again  like  a  clear  glow  over  all  the  trouble  of  the 
problematic,  over  all  the  danger  of  uncertainty, 
and  even  over  the  jealousy  of  the  lover.  We  know 
a  new  happiness.  .  .  , 


Finally  (that  the  most  essential  may  not  remain 
unsaid),  one  comes  back  out  of  such  abysses,  out 
of  such  severe  sickness,  and  out  of  the  sickness  of 
strong  suspicion — new-born,  with  the  skin  cast ; 
more  sensitive,  more  wicked,  with  a  finer  taste  for 
joy,  with  a  more  delicate  tongue  for  all  good 
things,  with  a  merrier  disposition,  with  a  second 
and  more  dangerous  innocence  in  joy ;  more 
childish  at  the  same  time,  and  a  hundred  times 
more  refined  than  ever  before.  Oh,  how  re- 
pugnant to  us  now  is  pleasure,  coarse,  dull,  drab 
pleasure,  as  the  pleasure-seekers,  our  "cultured" 
classes,  our  rich  and  ruling  classes,  usually  under- 
stand it !  How  malignantly  we  now  listen  to  the 
great  holiday-hubbub  with  which  "cultured  people" 
and  city-men  at  present  allow  themselves  to  be 
forced  to  "  spiritual  enjoyment "  by  art,  books,  and 
music,  with  the  help  of  spirituous  liquors!  How 
the  theatrical  cry  of  passion  now  pains  our  ear,  how 
strange  to  our  taste  has  all  the  romantic  riot  and 
sensuous  bustle  which  the  cultured  populace  love 
become  (together  with  their  aspirations  after  the 
exalted,  the  elevated,  and  the  intricate)!  No,  if 
we  convalescents  need  an  art  at  all,  it  is  another 
art — a    mocking,    light,  volatile,    divinely    serene, 


divinely  ingenious  art,  which  blazes  up  like  a  clear 
flame,  into  a  cloudless  heaven  !  Above  all,  an  art 
for  artists,  only  for  artists!  We  at  last  know 
better  what  is  first  of  all  necessary  >r  zV— namely, 
cheerfulness,  every  kind  of  cheerfulness,  my  friends  ! 
also  as  artists  :— I  should  like  to  prove  it.  We  now 
know  something  too  well,  we  men  of  knowledge : 
oh,  how  well  we  are  now  learning  to  forget  and  not 
know,  as  artists !  And  as  to  our  future,  we  are  not 
likely  to  be  found  again  in  the  tracks  of  those 
Egyptian  youths  who  at  night  make  the  temples 
unsafe,  embrace  statues,  and  would  fain  unveil, 
uncover,  and  put  in  clear  light,  everything  which 
for  good  reasons  is  kept  concealed.*  No,  we  have 
got  disgusted  with  this  bad  taste,  this  will  to  truth, 
to  "truth  at  all  costs,"  this  youthful  madness  in 
the  love  of  truth  :  we  are  now  too  experienced,  too 
serious,  too  joyful,  too  singed,  too  profound  for 
that.  .  .  .  We  no  longer  believe  that  truth  remains 
truth  when  the  veil  is  withdrawn  from  it :  we  have 
lived  long  enough  to  believe  this.  At  present  we 
regard  it  as  a  matter  of  propriety  not  to  be  anxious 
either  to  see  everything  naked,  or  to  be  present  at 
everything, or  to  understand  and  "know"  everything. 
"Is  it  true  that  the  good  God  is  everywhere 
present  ? "  asked  a  little  girl  of  her  mother :  "  I 
think  that  is  indecent "  :— a  hint  to  philosophers  ! 
One  should  have  more  reverence  for  the  shame- 
facedness  with  which  nature  has  concealed  herself 
behind  enigmas  and  motley  uncertainties.  Per- 
haps truth  is  a  woman  who  has   reasons  for  not 

*  An  allusion  to  Schiller's  poem  :  "  The  Veiled  Image  of 
Sais."— Tr. 


showing  her  reasons  ?  Perhaps  her  name  is  Baubo, 
to  speak  in  Greek  ?  .  .  .  Oh,  those  Greeks !  They 
knew  how  to  live :  for  that  purpose  it  is  necessary  to 
keep  bravely  to  the  surface,  the  fold  and  the  skin  ; 
to  worship  appearance,  to  believe  in  forms,  tones, 
and  words,  in  the  whole  Olympus  of  appearance ! 
Those  Greeks  were  superficial — from  profundity ! 
And  are  we  not  coming  back  precisely  to  this 
point,  we  dare-devils  of  the  spirit,  who  have  scaled 
the  highest  and  most  dangerous  peak  of  contem- 
porary thought,  and  have  looked  around  us  from 
it,  have  looked  down  from  it  ?  Are  we  not  precisely 
in  this  respect — Greeks?  Worshippers  of  forms, 
of  tones,  and  of  words?  And  precisely  on  that 
account — artists  ? 

RuTA,  near  Genoa 
Autumn^  1886. 





Venture,  comrades,  I  implore  you. 
On  the  fare  I  set  before  you, 
You  will  like  it  more  to-morrow, 
Better  still  the  following  day : 
If  yet  more  you're  then  requiring, 
Old  success  I'll  find  inspiring, 

And  fresh  courage  thence  will  borrow 
Novel  dainties  to  display. 


My  Good  Luck. 

Weary  of  Seeking  had  I  grown, 
So  taught  myself  the  way  to  Find  : 

Back  by  the  storm  I  once  was  blown, 
But  follow  now,  where  drives  the  wind. 



Where  you're  standing,  dig,  dig  out : 

Down  below's  the  Well : 
Let  them  that  walk  in  darkness  shout 

"  Down  below— there's  Hell ! " 





A.  Was  I  ill  ?  and  is  it  ended  ? 
Pray,  by  what  physician  tended  ? 
I  recall  no  pain  endured ! 

B.  Now  I  know  your  trouble's  ended  : 
He  that  can  forget,  is  cured. 

'       5. 

To  the  Virtuous. 

Let   our  virtues    be    easy   and    nimble-footed   in 
Like  unto  Homer's  verse  ought  they  to  come  and 
to  go. 


Worldly  Wisdom. 

Stay  not  on  level  plain, 

Climb  not  the  mount  too  high. 

But  half-way  up  remain — 
The  world  you'll  best  descry ! 


Vademecum —  Vadetecum. 

Attracted  by  my  style  and  talk 
You'd  follow,  in  my  footsteps  walk  ? 
Follow  yourself  unswervingly. 
So — careful ! — shall  you  follow  me. 



The  Third  Sloughing. 

My  skin  bursts,  breaks  for  fresh  rebirth, 

And  new  desires  come  thronging : 
Much  I've  devoured,  yet  for  more  earth 

The  serpent  in  me's  longing. 
'Twixt  stone  and  grass  I  crawl  once  more. 

Hungry,  by  crooked  ways. 
To  eat  the  food  I  ate  before. 

Earth-fare  all  serpents  praise ! 

My  Roses. 

My  luck's  good — I'd  make  yours  fairer, 
(Good  luck  ever  needs  a  sharer). 
Will  you  stop  and  pluck  my  roses  ? 

Oft  mid  rocks  and  thorns  you'll  linger, 
Hide  and  stoop,  suck  bleeding  iinger — 
Will  you  stop  and  pluck  my  roses  ? 

For  my  good  luck's  a  trifle  vicious. 
Fond  of  teasing,  tricks  malicious — 
Will  you  stop  and  pluck  my  roses  ? 


The  Scorner. 

Many  drops  I  waste  and  spill. 
So  my  scornful  mood  you  curse : 
Who  to  brim  his  cup  doth  fill, 
Many  drops  must  waste  and  spill- 
Yet  he  thinks  the  wine  no  worse. 



The  Proverb  Speaks. 
Harsh  and  gentle,  fine  and  mean, 
Quite  rare  and  common,  dirty  and  clean, 
The  fools'  and  the  sages'  go-between  : 
All  this  I  will  be,  this  have  been, 
Dove  and  serpent  and  swine,  I  ween ! 


To  a  Lover  of  Light. 
That  eye  and  sense  be  not  fordone 
E'en  in  the  shade  pursue  the  sun  ! 

For  Dancers. 
Smoothest  ice, 
A  paradise 
To  him  who  is  a  dancer  nice.     • 

The  Brave  Man. 
A  feud  that  knows  not  flaw  nor  break, 
Rather  then  patched-up  friendship,  take. 

Rust's  needed  :  keenness  will  not  satisfy ! 
"  He  is  too  young ! "  the  rabble  loves  to  cry. 

"  How  shall  I  reach  the  top  ? "     No  time 
For  thus  reflecting !     Start  to  climb ! 


The  Man  of  Power  Speaks. 
Ask  never !     Cease  that  whining,  pray ! 
Take  without  asking,  take  alway  ! 

Narrow  Souls. 
Narrow  souls  hate  I  like  the  devil, 
Souls  wherein  grows  nor  good  nor  evil. 


Accidentally  a  Seducer.* 
He  shot  an  empty  word 

Into  the  empty  blue ; 
But  on  the  way  it  met 

A  woman  whom  it  slew. 

For  Consideration. 
A  twofold  pain  is  easier  far  to  bear 
Than  one :  so  now  to  suffer  wilt  thou  dare  ? 

Against  Pride. 
Brother,  to  puff  thyself  up  ne'er  be  quick  : 
For  burst  thou  shalt  be  by  a  tiny  prick ! 


Man  and  Woman. 
"  The  woman  seize,  who  to  thy  heart  appeals ! " 
Man's  motto :  woman  seizes  not,  but  steals. 

*  Translated  by  Miss  M.  D.  Petre. 




If  I  explain  my  wisdom,  surely 
'Tis  but  entangled  more  securely, 

I  can't  expound  myself  aright : 
But  he  that's  boldly  up  and  doing, 
His  own  unaided  course  pursuing, 

Upon  my  image  casts  more  light  1 


A  Cure  for  Pessimism. 

Those  old  capricious  fancies,  friend  ! 
You  say  your  palate  naught  can  please, 
I  hear  you  bluster,  spit  and  wheeze. 

My  love,  my  patience  soon  will  end  ! 

Pluck  up  your  courage,  follow  me — 

Here's  a  fat  toad  !     Now  then,  don't  blink. 
Swallow  it  whole,  nor  pause  to  think ! 

From  your  dyspepsia  you'll  be  free ! 


A  Request. 

Many  men's  minds  1  know  full  well, 
Yet  what  mine  own  is,  cannot  tell. 
I  cannot  see— my  eye's  too  near— 
And  falsely  to  myself  appear. 
'Twould  be  to  me  a  benefit 
Far  from  myself  if  I  could  sit, 
Less  distant  than  my  enemy, 


And  yet  my  nearest  friend's  too  nigh — 
'Twixt  him  and  me,  just  in  the  middle  1 
What  do  I  ask  for  ?     Guess  my  riddle 


My  Cruelty. 

I  must  ascend  an  hundred  stairs, 
I  must  ascend  :  the  herd  declares 
I'm  cruel :     "  Are  we  made  of  stone  ?  " 
I  must  ascend  an  hundred  stairs  : 
All  men  the  part  of  stair  disown. 


The  Wanderer. 

"  No  longer  path !  Abyss  and  silence  chilling  ! " 
Thy   fault!      To   leave    the   path   thou   wast   too 

willing ! 
Now  comes  the  test !     Keep  cool — eyes  bright  and 

clear ! 
Thou'rt  lost  for  sure,  if  thou  permittest — fear. 

Encouragement  for  Beginners. 

See  the  infant,  helpless  creeping — 

Swine  around  it  grunt  swine-talk — 
Weeping  always,  naught  but  weeping, 

Will  it  ever  learn  to  walk  ? 
Never  fear !     Just  wait,  I  swear  it 

Soon  to  dance  will  be  inclined, 
And  this  babe,  when  two  legs  bear  it, 

Standing  on  its  head  you'll  find. 



Planet  Egoism. 

Did  I  not  turn,  a  rolling  cask, 
Ever  about  myself,  I  ask. 
How  could  I  without  burning  run 
Close  on  the  track  of  the  hot  sun  ? 


The  Neighbour. 

Too  nigh,  my  friend  my  joy  doth  mar, 
I'd  have  him  high  above  and  far, 
Or  how  can  he  become  my  star  ? 


The  Disguised  Saint. 

Lest  we  for  thy  bliss  should  slay  thee, 
In  devil's  wiles  thou  dost  array  thee, 

Devil's  wit  and  devil's  dress. 
But  in  vain !     Thy  looks  betray  thee 

And  proclaim  thy  holiness. 

The  Slave. 

A.  He  stands  and  listens  :  whence  his  pain? 
What  smote  his  ears  ?  Some  far  refrain  ? 
Why  is  his  heart  with  anguish  torn  ? 

B.  Like  all  that  fetters  once  have  worn. 
He  always  hears  the  clinking— chain ! 


The  Lone  One. 

I  hate  to  follow  and  I  hate  to  lead. 
Obedience  ?  no !  and  ruling  ?  no,  indeed  ! 

Wouldst  fearful  be  in  others'  sight  ? 

Then  e'en  thyself  thou  must  affright : 
The  people  but  the  Terror's  guidance  heed. 
I  hate  to  guide  myself,  I  hate  the  fray. 
Like  the  wild  beasts  I'll  wander  far  afield. 

In  Error's  pleasing  toils  I'll  roam 

Awhile,  then  lure  myself  back  home, 
Back  home,  and — to  my  self-seduction  yield. 

Seneca  et  hoc  Genus  omne. 

They  write  and  write  (quite  maddening  me) 
Their  "  sapient "  twaddle  airy, 
As  if  'twere  primum  scribere^ 
Deinde  philosophari. 


Yes !  I  manufacture  ice : 
Ice  may  help  you  to  digest : 
If  you  had  much  to  digest. 
How  you  would  enjoy  my  ice ! 

Youthful  Writings. 

My  wisdom's  A  and  final  O 

Was  then  the  sound  that  smote  mine  ear. 


Yet  now  it  rings  no  longer  so, 
My  youth's  eternal  Ah !  and  Oh  1 
Is  now  the  only  sound  I  hear.* 


In  yonder  region  travelling,  take  good  care ! 
An  hast  thou  wit,  then  be  thou  doubly  ware ! 
They'll  smile  and  lure  thee ;  then  thy  limbs  they'll 

Fanatics'  country  this  where  wits  are  rare  ! 

The  Pious  One  Speaks. 
God  loves  MS,  for  he  made  us,  sent  us  here ! — 
"  Man  hath  made  God  1 "  ye  subtle  ones  reply. 
His  handiwork  he  must  hold  dear, 
And  what  he  made  shall  he  deny  ? 
There  sounds  the  devil's  halting  hoof,  I  fear. 


In  Summer. 
In  sweat  of  face,  so  runs  the  screed, 

We  e'er  must  eat  our  bread, 
Yet  wise  physicians  if  we  heed 

"  Eat  naught  in  sweat,"  'tis  said. 
The  dog-star's  blinking  :  what's  his  need  ? 

What  tells  his  blazing  sign  ? 
In  sweat  of  face  (so  runs  his  screed) 

We're  meant  to  drink  our  wine  1 

*  A  and  O,  suggestive  of  Ah  !  and  Oh  !  refer  of  course  to 
Alpha  and  Omega,  the  first  and  last  letters  of  the  Greek 
alphabet.  — Tr. 



Without  Envy. 
His  look  bewrays  no  envy :  and  ye  laud  him  ? 
He  cares  not,  asks  not  if  your  throng  applaud  him  ! 
He  has  the  eagle's  eye  for  distance  far, 
He  sees  you  not,  he  sees  but  star  on  star  I 


Brethren,  war's  the  origin 

Of  happiness  on  earth : 
Powder-smoke  and  battle-din 

Witness  friendship's  birth ! 
Friendship  means  three  things,  you  know,— 

Kinship  in  luckless  plight. 
Equality  before  the  foe 

Freedom — in  death's  sight  1 


Maxim  of  the  Over-refined. 
"  Rather  on  your  toes  stand  high 

Than  crawl  upon  all  fours, 
Rather  through  the  keyhole  spy 

Than  through  the  open  doors ! " 


Renown  you're  quite  resolved  to  earn  ? 

My  thought  about  it 
Is  this :  you  need  not  fame,  must  learn 

To  do  without  it ! 




I  an  inquirer  ?     No,  that's  not  my  calling 
Only  /  weigh  a  lot — I'm  such  a  lump ! — 

And  through  the  waters  I  keep  falling,  falling, 
Till  on  the  ocean's  deepest  bed  I  bump. 

The  Immortals, 
"  To-day  is  meet  for  me,  I  come  to-day," 
Such  is  the  speech  of  men  foredoomed  to  stay. 

"  Thou  art  too  soon,"  they  cry,  "  thou  art  too  late," 
What  care  the  Immortals  what  the  rabble  say  ? 

Verdicts  of  the  Weary. 
The  weary  shun  the  glaring  sun,  afraid. 
And  only  care  for  trees  to  gain  the  shade. 

"  He  sinks,  he  falls,"  your  scornful  looks  portend  : 
The  truth  is,  to  your  level  he'll  descend. 

His  Too  Much  Joy  is  turned  to  weariness, 
His  Too  Much  Light  will  in  your  darkness  end. 

Nature  Silenced.* 
Around  my  neck,  on  chain  of  hair, 
The  timepiece  hangs — a  sign  of  care. 

*  Translated  by  Miss  M.  D.  Petre. 


For  me  the  starry  course  is  o'er, 

No  sun  and  shadow  as  before, 

No  cockcrow  summons  at  the  door, 

For  nature  tells  the  time  no  more ! 

Too  many  clocks  her  voice  have  drowned, 

And  droning  law  has  dulled  her  sound. 

The  Sage  Speaks. 

Strange  to  the  crowd,  yet  useful  to  the  crowd, 
I  still  pursue  my  path,  now  sun,  now  cloud. 
But  always  pass  above  the  crowd ! 

He  lost  his  Head.  .  .  . 

She  now  has  wit — how  did  it  come  her  way  ? 
A  man  through  her  his  reason  lost,  they  say. 
His  head,  though  wise  ere  to  this  pastime  lent. 
Straight  to  the  devil — no,  to  woman  went ! 

A  Pious  Wish. 

"  Oh,  might  all  keys  be  lost !    'Twere  better  so 
And  in  all  keyholes  might  the  pick-lock  go ! " 
Who  thus  reflects  ye  may  as — picklock  know. 

Foot  Writing. 

I  write  not  with  the  hand  alone, 

My  foot  would  write,  my  foot  that  capers. 

Firm,  free  and  bold,  it's  marching  on 

Now  through  the  fields,  now  through  the  papers. 


"  Human^  Ail-too- Human."  .  .  . 
Shy,    gloomy,    when    your    looks    are    backward 

Trusting  the  future  where  yourself  you  trust, 
Are  you  an  eagle,  mid  the  nobler  fowl. 
Or  are  you  like  Minerva's  darling  owl  ? 

To  my  Reader. 

Good  teeth  and  a  digestion  good 

I  wish  you — these  you  need,  be  sure ! 

And,  certes,  if  my  book  you've  stood. 
Me  with  good  humour  you'll  endure. 

The  Realistic  Painter. 
«  To  nature  true,  complete  1 "  so  he  begins. 
Who  complete  Nature  to  his  canvas  wins? 
Her  tiniest  fragment's  endless,  no  constraint 
Can  know  :  he  paints  just  what  \{\s  fancy  pins  : 
What  does  his  fancy  pin  ?     What  he  can  paint ! 

Poets'  Vanity. 

Glue,  only  glue  to  me  dispense, 

The  wood  I'll  find  myself,  don't  fear! 

To  give  four  senseless  verses  sense— 
That's  an  achievement  I  revere ! 


Taste  in  Choosing. 
If  to  choose  my  niche  precise 

Freedom  I  could  win  from  fate, 
I'd  be  in  midst  of  Paradise — 

Or,  sooner  still— before  the  gate  ! 

The  Crooked  Nose. 
Wide  blow  your  nostrils,  and  across 
The  land  your  nose  holds  haughty  sway  : 
So  you,  unhorned  rhinoceros, 
Proud  mannikin,  fall  forward  aye ! 
The  one  trait  with  the  other  goes  : 
A  straight  pride  and  a  crooked  nose. 

The  Pen  is  Scratching.  .  .  . 
The  pen  is  scratching :  hang  the  pen  ! 

To  scratching  I'm  condemned  to  sink  1 
I  grasp  the  inkstand  fiercely  then 

And  write  in  floods  of  flowing  ink. 
How  broad,  how  full  the  stream's  career ! 

What  luck  my  labours  doth  requite ! 
'Tis  true,  the  writing's  none  too  clear — 

What  then  ?     Who  reads  the  stufl"  I  write  ? 

Loftier  Spirits. 
This  man's  climbing  up — let  us  praise  him— 
But  that  other  we  love 
From  aloft  doth  eternally  move, 
So  above  even  praise  let  us  raise  him, 
He  comes  from  above ! 



The  Sceptic  Speaks. 
Your  life  is  half-way  o'er  ; 
The  clock-hand  moves ;  your  soul  is  thrilled  with 

It  roamed  to  distant  shore 
And  sought  and  found  not,  yet  you — linger  here ! 

Your  life  is  half-way  o'er  ; 

That  hour  by  hour  was  pain  and  error  sheer : 

Why  stay  ?     What  seek  you  more  ? 

"  That's  what  I'm  seeking — reasons  why  I'm  here  ! " 

Ecce  Homo. 

Yes,  I  know  where  I'm  related, 
Like  the  flame,  unquenched,  unsated, 

I  consume  myself  and  glow  : 
All's  turned  to  light  I  lay  my  hand  on, 
All  to  coal  that  I  abandon, 

Yes,  I  am  a  flame,  I  know ! 

Star  Morality* 

Foredoomed  to  spaces  vast  and  far, 
What  matters  darkness  to  the  star  ? 

Roll  calmly  on,  let  time  go  by, 
Let  sorrows  pass  thee — nations  die ! 

Compassion  would  but  dim  the  light 
That  distant  worlds  will  gladly  sight. 

To  thee  one  law — be  pure  and  bright ! 
*  Translated  by  Miss  M.  D.  Petre. 



The  Teachers  of  the  Object  of  Existence.— ySfhet\\Qr 
I  look  with  a  good  or  an  evil  eye  upon  men,  I  find 
them  always  at  one  problem,  each  and  all  of  them  : 
to  do  that  which  conduces  to  the  conservation  of 
the  human  species.  And  certainly  not  out  of  any 
sentiment  of  love  for  this  species,  but  simply 
because  nothing  in  them  is  older,  stronger,  more 
inexorable  and  more  unconquerable  than  that 
instinct, — because  it  is  precisely  the  essence  of  our 
race  and  herd.  Although  we  are  accustomed 
readily  enough,  with  our  usual  short-sightedness, 
to  separate  our  neighbours  precisely  into  useful 
and  hurtful,  into  good  and  evil  men,  yet  when  we 
make  a  general  calculation,  and  reflect  longer 
on  the  whole  question,  we  become  distrustful 
of  this  defining  and  separating,  and  finally 
leave  it  alone.  Even  the  most  hurtful  man 
is  still  perhaps,  in  respect  to  the  conservation 
of  the  race,  the  most  useful  of  all ;  for  he  conserves 
in  himself,  or  by  his  effect  on  others,  impulses 
without  which  mankind  might  long  ago  have  lan- 
guished or  decayed.  Hatred,  delight  in  mischief, 
rapacity  and  ambition,  and  whatever  else  is  called 
evil — belong  to  the  marvellous  economy  of  the 
conservation  of  the  race  ;  to  be  sure  a  costly,  lavish, 



and  on  the  whole  very  foolish  economy : — which 
has,  however,  hitherto   preserved  our  race,  as  is 
demonstrated  to  us.      I  no  longer  know,  my  dear 
fellow-man  and  neighbour,  if  thou  canst  at  all  live  to 
the  disadvantage  of  the  race,  and  therefore,  "  un- 
reasonably"  and  "badly";  that  which  could  have 
injured   the    race    has   perhaps    died    out    many 
millenniums  ago,  and  now  belongs  to  the  things 
which  are  no  longer  possible  even  to  God.     Indulge 
thy  best  or  thy  worst  desires,  and  above  all,  go  to 
wreck  ! — in  either  case  thou  art  still  probably  the 
furtherer  and  benefactor  of  mankind  in  some  way 
or  other,  and  in  that  respect  thou  mayest  have 
thy  panegyrists — and  similarly  thy  mockers  !     But 
thou   wilt   never   find   him   who  would   be  quite 
qualified  to  mock  at  thee,  the  individual,  at  thy 
best,  who  could  bring  home  to  thy  conscience  its 
h'mitless,  buzzing  and   croaking  wretchedness   so 
as   to   be   in   accord    with    truth !      To   laugh   at 
oneself  as  one  would  have  to  laugh  in  order   to 
laugh  out  of  the  veriest  truth, — to  do  this,  the  best 
have  not  hitherto  had  enough  of  the  sense  of  truth, 
and  the   most  endowed   have  had   far  too  little 
genius!     There  is  perhaps  still  a  future  even  for 
laughter !     When  the   maxim,   "  The   race  is  all, 
the  individual  is  nothing," — has  incorporated  itself 
in   humanity,   and   when   access    stands    open   to 
every  one  at  all  times  to  this  ultimate  emancipa- 
tion  and   irresponsibility. — Perhaps  then  laughter 
will  have  united  with  wisdom,  perhaps  then  there 
will  be  only  "joyful  wisdom."    Meanwhile,  however, 
it  is  quite  otherwise,  meanwhile   the   comedy   of 
existence  has  not  yet  "  become  conscious  "  of  itself, 


meanwhile  it  is  still   the  period   of  tragedy,  the 
period  of  morals  and  religions.      What  does  the 
ever  new  appearing   of  founders  of  morals   and 
religions,  of  instigators  of  struggles  for  moral  valua- 
tions, of  teachers   of  remorse   of  conscience  and 
religious  war,  imply?     What   do  these  heroes  on 
this  stage  imply?      For  they  have  hitherto  been 
the  heroes  of  it,  and  all  else,  though  solely  visible 
for  the  time  being,  and  too  close  to  one,  has  served 
only  as  preparation  for  these  heroes,  whether  as 
machinery  and  coulisse,  or  in  the  r61e  of  confidants 
and  valets.     (The  poets,  for  example,  have  always 
been  the  valets  of  some  morality  or  other.) — It  is 
obvious  of  itself  that  these  tragedians  also  work  in 
the  interest  of  the  race,  though  they  may  believe 
that  they  work   in   the   interest   of  God,   and  as 
emissaries  of  God.     They  also  further  the  life  of 
the  species,  in  that  they  further  the  belief  in  life. 
"  It  is  worth  while  to  live "  —  each  of  them  calls 
out, — "there  is  something  of  importance  in   this 
life ;    life  has  something  behind  it  and  under  it ; 
take   care!"     That   impulse,  which  rules  equally 
in  the  noblest  and  the  ignoblest,  the  impulse  to 
the  conservation  of  the  species,  breaks  forth  from 
time  to  time  as  reason  and  passion  of  spirit ;    it 
has  then  a  brilliant  train  of  motives  about  it,  and 
tries  with  all  its   power  to   make  us  forget  that 
fundamentally  it  is  just  impulse,  instinct,  folly  and 
baselessness.    Life  j^^«/a?  be  loved, /^r  .  .  .  !   Man 
J^^w/a?  benefit  himself  and  his  neighbour,/^/-  .  .  .  / 
And  whatever  all   these  shoulds  and  fors  imply, 
and   may   imply   in   future!     In   order   that   that 
which  necessarily  and  always  happens  of  itself  and 


without  design,  may  henceforth  appear  to  be  done 
by  design,  and  may  appeal  to  men  as  reason  and 
ultimate   command, — for    that    purpose   the    ethi- 
culturist  comes  forward  as  the  teacher  of  design  in 
existence  ;  for  that  purpose  he  devises  a  second  and 
different    existence,   and    by   means   of  this   new 
mechanism  he  lifts  the  old  common  existence  off 
its  old  common  hinges.     No!    he  does  not  at  all 
want  us  to  laugh  at  existence,  nor  even  at  ourselves 
— nor  at  himself;  to  him  an  individual  is  always 
an  individual,  something  first  and  last  and  immense, 
to  him  there  are  no  species,  no  sums,  no  noughts. 
However  foolish  and  fanatical  his  inventions  and 
valuations  may  be,  however  much   he   may   mis- 
understand the  course  of  nature  and  deny  its  con- 
ditions— and  all   systems   of  ethics  hitherto  have 
been  foolish  and  anti-natural  to  such  a  degree  that 
mankind  would  have  been  ruined  by  any  one  of 
them  had  it  got  the  upper  hand, — at  any  rate,  every 
time  that  "  the  hero "  came  upon  the  stage  some- 
thing new  was  attained  :  the  frightful  counterpart 
of  laughter,  the  profound  convulsion  of  many  in- 
dividuals at  the  thought,  "  Yes,  it  is  worth  while  to 
live !  yes,  I  am  worthy  to  live ! " — life,  and  thou,  and 
I,  and  all  of  us  together  became  for  a  while  interest- 
ing to  ourselves  once  more. — It  is  not  to  be  denied 
that  hitherto  laughter  and  reason  and  nature  have 
in  the  long  run  got  the  upper  hand  of  all  the  great 
teachers  of  design :  in  the  end  the  short  tragedy 
always  passed  over   once  more   into  the  eternal 
comedy  of  existence ;    and  the  "  waves  of  innu- 
merable   laughters " — to    use    the    expression    of 
iEschylus — must  also  in  the  end  beat  over  the  great- 


est  of  these  tragedies.  But  with  all  this  corrective 
laughter,  human  nature  has  on  the  whole  been 
changed  by  the  ever  new  appearance  of  those 
teachers  of  the  design  of  existence, — human  nature 
has  now  an  additional  requirement,  the  very  require- 
ment of  the  ever  new  appearance  of  such  teachers 
and  doctrines  of  "  design."  Man  has  gradually  be- 
come a  visionary  animal,  who  has  to  fulfil  one  more 
condition  of  existence  than  the  other  animals :  man 
must  from  time  to  time  believe  that  he  knows  why 
he  exists;  his  species  cannot  flourish  without  periodi- 
cally confiding  in  life !  Without  the  belief  in 
reason  in  life !  And  always  from  time  to  time 
will  the  human  race  decree  anew  that  "there  is 
something  which  really  may  not  be  laughed  at." 
And  the  most  clairvoyant  philanthropist  will  add 
that  "  not  only  laughing  and  joyful  wisdom,  but  also 
the  tragic  with  all  its  sublime  irrationality,  counts 
among  the  means  and  necessities  for  the  conserva- 
tion of  the  race !  " — And  consequently !  Conse- 
quently !  Consequently !  Do  you  understand  me, 
oh  my  brothers?  Do  you  understand  this  new 
law  of  ebb  and  flow?     We  also  shall  have  our  time  ! 

The  Intellectual  Conscience. — I  have  always  the 
same  experience  oveiL_again.  and  always  make  a 
new  eff'ort  against  it ;  for  although  it  is  evident  to 
me  I  do  not  want  to  believe  it:  in  the  greater  number 
of  men  the  intellectual  conscience  is  lacking;  indeed, 
it  would  often  seem  to  me  that  in  demanding  such 
a  thing,  one  is  as  solitary  in  the  largest  cities  as  in 
the  desert.     Everyone  looks  at  you  with  strange 


eyes    and   continues  to   make  use   of  his   scales, 
calling  this  good  and  that  bad  ;  and  no  one  blushes 
for  shame  when  you  remark  that  these  weights  are 
not  the  full  amount,-there  is  also  no  indignation 
against  you  ;  perhaps  they  laugh  at  your  doubt.     I 
mean  to  say  that  the  greater  number  of  people  do 
not  find  it  contemptible  to  believe  this  or  that,  and 
live  according  to  it,  without  having  been  previously 
aware  of  the  ultimate  and  surest  reasons  for  and 
against  it,  and  without  even  giving  themselves  any 
trouble  about  such  reasons  afterwards,— the  most 
gifted  men  and  the  noblest  women  still  belong  to 
this  "  greater  number."     But  what  is  kind-hearted- 
ness, refinement  and  genius  to  me,  if  he  who  has 
these  virtues  harbours  indolent  sentiments  in  beliei 
and  judgment,  if  the  longing  for  certainty  does  not 
rule  in  him,  as  his  innermost  desire  and  profoundest 
need-as  that  which  separates  higher  from  lower 
men!     In    certain    pious    people    I    have    found 
a  hatred   of  reason,   and    have   been    favourably 
disposed   to   them   for   it:    their  bad   intellectual 
conscience   at   least   still    betrayed    itself,_  in   this 
manner '     But  to  stand  in  the  midst  of  this  rerum 
Concordia  discors  and  all  the  marvellous  uncertainty 
and  ambiguity  of  existence,  and  not  to  question,  not 
to  tremble  with  desire  and  delight  in  questioning, 
not  even  to  hate  the  questioner-perhaps  even  to 
make  merry  over  him  to  the  extent  of  wea"ness- 
that  is  what  I  regard  as  contemptible,  and  it  is  this 
sentiment  which  I  first  of  all  search  for  in  every 
one— some  folly  or  other  always  persuades  me 
anew  that  every  man  has  this  sentiment,  as  man. 
This  is  my  special  kind  of  unrighteousness. 


jV<?^/^  and  Ignoble. — To  ignoble  natures  all  noble, 
magnanimous  sentiments  appear  inexpedient,  and 
on  that  account  first  and  foremost,  as  incredible : 
they  blink  with  their  eyes  when  they  hear  of  such 
matters,  and  seem  inclined  to  say,  "there  will,  no 
doubt,  be  some  advantage  therefrom,  one  cannot 
see  through  all  walls;" — they  are  jealous  of  the 
noble  person,  as  if  he  sought  advantage  by  back- 
stair  methods.  When  they  are  all  too  plainly 
convinced  of  the  absence  of  selfish  intentions  and 
emoluments,  the  noble  person  is  regarded  by  them 
as  a  kind  of  fool :  they  despise  him  in  his  gladness, 
and  laugh  at  the  lustre  of  his  eye.  "  How  can  a 
person  rejoice  at  being  at  a  disadvantage,  how  can 
a  person  with  open  eyes  want  to  meet  with  dis- 
advantage !  It  must  be  a  disease  of  the  reason 
with  which  the  noble  affection  is  associated  "  ; — so 
they  think,  and  they  look  depreciatingly  thereon  ; 
just  as  they  depreciate  the  joy  which  the  lunatic 
derives  from  his  fixed  idea.  The  ignoble  nature 
is  distinguished  by  the  fact  that  it  keeps  its 
advantage  steadily  in  view,  and  that  this  thought 
of  the  end  and  advantage  is  even  stronger  than 
its  strongest  impulse :  not  to  be  tempted  to 
inexpedient  activities  by  its  impulses — that  is  its 
wisdom  and  inspiration.  In  comparison  with 
the  ignoble  nature  the  higher  nature  is  more 
irrational :  —  for  the  noble,  magnanimous,  and 
self-sacrificing  person  succumbs  in  fact  to  his 
impulses,  and  in  his  best  moments  his  reason 
lapses  altogether.     An  animal,  which  at  the  risk 


of  life  protects  its  young,  or  in  the  pairing  season 
follows  the  female  where  it  meets  with  death,  does 
not  think  of  the  risk  and  the  death ;  its  reason 
pauses  likewise,  because  its  delight  in  its  young, 
or  in  the  female,  and  the  fear  of  being  deprived 
of  this  delight,  dominate  it  exclusively  ;  it  becomes 
stupider  than  at  other  times,  like  the  noble  and 
magnanimous  person.  He  possesses  feelings  of 
pleasure  and  pain  of  such  intensity  that  the 
intellect  must  either  be  silent  before  them,  or 
yield  itself  to  their  service :  his  heart  then  goes 
into  his  head,  and  one  henceforth  speaks  of 
"passions."  (Here  and  there  to  be  sure,  the 
antithesis  to  this,  and  as  it  were  the  "reverse  of 
passion,"  presents  itself;  for  example  in  Fontenelle, 
to  whom  some  one  once  laid  the  hand  on  the  heart 
with  the  words,  "  What  you  have  there,  my  dearest 
friend,  is  brain  also.")  It  is  the  unreason,  or  perverse 
reason  of  passion,  which  the  ignoble  man  despises 
in  the  noble  individual,  especially  when  it  con- 
centrates upon  objects  whose  value  appears  to  him 
to  be  altogether  fantastic  and  arbitrary.  He  is 
offended  at  him  who  succumbs  to  the  passion 
of  the  belly,  but  he  understands  the  allurement  which 
here  plays  the  tyrant ;  but  he  does  not  understand, 
for  example,  how  a  person  out  of  love  of  knowledge 
can  stake  his  health  and  honour  on  the  game. 
The  taste  of  the  higher  nature  devotes  itself  to 
exceptional  matters,  to  things  which  usually  do 
not  affect  people,  and  seem  to  have  no  sweetness  ; 
the  higher  nature  has  a  singular  standard  of  value. 
Yet  it  is  mostly  of  the  belief  that  it  has  not 
a  singular  standard  of  value  in  its  idiosyncrasies 


of  taste ;  it  rather  sets  up  its  values  and  non-values 
as  the  generally  valid  values  and  non-values,  and 
thus  becomes  incomprehensible  and  impracticable. 
It  is  very  rarely  that  a  higher  nature  has  so  much 
reason  over  and  above  as  to  understand  and  deal 
with   everyday  men  as  such;   for   the  most   part 
it  believes  in  its  passion  as  if  it  were  the  concealed 
passion  of  every  one,  and  precisely  in  this  belief 
it  is  full  of  ardour  and  eloquence.     If  then  such 
exceptional  men  do   not   perceive   themselves  as 
exceptions,   how   can    they   ever    understand  ^  the 
ignoble  natures  and  estimate  average  men  fairly  1 
Thus    it    is    that    they   also    speak    of  the    folly, 
inexpediency    and    fantasy    of  mankind,    full    of 
astonishment  at   the  madness  of  the  world,  and 
that  it  will  not  recognise  the  "  one  thing  needful 
for  it"— This   is   the   eternal   unrighteousness  of 
noble  natures. 

That  which  Preserves  the  Species.— The  strongest 
and  most  evil  spirits  have  hitherto  advanced  man- 
kind the  most :  they  always  rekindled  the  sleeping 
passions— all  orderly  arranged  society  lulls  the 
passions  to  sleep ;  they  always  reawakened  the 
sense  of  comparison,  of  contradiction,  of  delight 
in  the  new,  the  adventurous,  the  untried  ;  they 
compelled  men  to  set  opinion  against  opinion,  ideal 
plan  against  ideal  plan.  By  means  of  arms,  by 
upsetting  boundary-stones,  by  violations  of  piety 
most  of  all :  but  also  by  new  religions  and  morals ! 
The  same  kind  of  "  wickedness  "  is  in  every  teacher 
and  preacher  of  the  new— which  makes  a  conqueror 


infamous,  although  it  expresses  itself  more  refinedly, 
and  does  not  immediately  set  the  muscles  in  motion 
(and  just  on  that  account  does  not  make  so  in- 
famous !).  The  new,  however,  is  under  all  circum- 
stances the  evil,  as  that  which  wants  to  conquer, 
which  tries  to  upset  the  old  boundary-stones  and 
the  old  piety ;  only  the  old  is  the  good !  The 
good  men  of  every  age  are  those  who  go  to  the 
roots  of  the  old  thoughts  and  bear  fruit  with  them, 
the  agriculturists  of  the  spirit.  But  every  soil  be- 
comes finally  exhausted,  and  the  ploughshare  of 
evil  must  always  come  once  more. — There  is  at 
present  a  fundamentally  erroneous  theory  of  morals 
which  is  much  celebrated,  especially  in  England  : 
according  to  it  the  judgments  "  good  "  and  "  evil " 
are  the  accumulation  of  the  experiences  of  that 
which  is  "  expedient "  and  "  inexpedient "  ;  accord- 
ing to  this  theory,  that  which  is  called  good  is 
conservative  of  the  species,  what  is  called  evil,  how- 
ever, is  detrimental  to  it.  But  in  reality  the  evil 
impulses  are  just  in  as  high  a  degree  expedient, 
indispensable,  and  conservative  of  the  species  as 
the  good  : — only,  their  function  is  different. 


Unconditional  Duties. — All  men  who  feel  that 
they  need  the  strongest  words  and  intonations,  the 
most  eloquent  gestures  and  attitudes,  in  order  to 
operate  at  all — revolutionary  politicians,  socialists, 
preachers  of  repentance  with  or  without  Christianity, 
with  all  of  whom  there  must  be  no  mere  half-success, 
— all  these  speak  of  "duties,"  and  indeed,  always 
of  duties,  which  have  the  character  of  being  uncon- 


ditional — without  such  they  would  have  no  right 
to  their  excessive  pathos :  they  know  that  right 
well!  They  grasp,  therefore,  at  philosophies  of 
morality  which  preach  some  kind  of  categorical 
imperative,  or  they  assimilate  a  good  lump  of 
religion,  as,  for  example,  Mazzini  did.  Because 
they  want  to  be  trusted  unconditionally,  it  is  first 
of  all  necessary  for  them  to  trust  themselves  uncon- 
ditionally, on  the  basis  of  some  ultimate,  undebat- 
able  command,  sublime  in  itself,  as  the  ministers 
and  instruments  of  which,  they  would  fain  feel  and 
announce  themselves.  Here  we  have  the  most 
natural,  and  for  the  most  part,  very  influential 
opponents  of  moral  enlightenment  and  scepticism  : 
but  they  are  rare.  On  the  other  hand,  there  is 
always  a  very  numerous  class  of  those  opponents 
wherever  interest  teaches  subjection,  while  repute 
and  honour  seem  to  forbid  it.  He  who  feels  himself 
dishonoured  at  the  thought  of  being  the  instrument 
of  a  prince,  or  of  a  party  and  sect,  or  even  of 
wealthy  power  (for  example,  as  the  descendant  of 
a  proud,  ancient  family),  but  wishes  just  to  be 
this  instrument,  or  must  be  so  before  himself  and 
before  the  public  —  such  a  person  has  need  of 
pathetic  principles  which  can  at  all  times  be 
appealed  to : — principles  of  an  unconditional  ought^ 
to  which  a  person  can  subject  himself  without 
shame,  and  can  show  himself  subjected.  All  more 
refined  servility  holds  fast  to  the  categorical  impera- 
tive, and  is  the  mortal  enemy  of  those  who  want  to 
take  away  the  unconditional  character  of  duty; 
propriety  demands  this  from  them,  and  not  only 



Loss   of  Dignity. — Meditation   has   lost  all   its 
dignity  of  form ;  the  ceremonial  and  solemn  bearing 
of  the  meditative  person  have  been  made  a  mockery, 
and  one  would  no  longer  endure  a  wise  man  of 
the  old  style.     We  think  too  hastily  and  on  the 
way  and  while  walking  and  in  the  midst  of  business 
of  all   kinds,  even  when  we  think   on   the   most 
serious  matters  ;  we  require  little  preparation,  even 
little  quiet:— it  is  as  if  each  of  us  carried  about  an 
unceasingly  revolving  machine  in  his  head,  which 
still  works,  even  under  the  most  unfavourable  cir- 
cumstances.    Formerly  it  was  perceived  in  a  person 
that  on  some  occasion  he  wanted  to  think— it  was 
perhaps  the  exception  !— that  he  now  wanted  to 
become  wiser  and  collected  his  mind  on  a  thought : 
he  put  on  a  long  face  for  it,  as  for  a  prayer,  and 
arrested  his  step-nay,  stood  still  for  hours  on  the 
street  when  the  thought  "came"— on  one  ^ or  on 
two  legs.     It  was  thus  "  worthy  of  the  affair  " ! 


Something  for  the  Laborious.— Yi^  who  at  present 
wants  to  make  moral  questions  a  subject  of  study 
has  an  immense  field  of  labour  before  him.  All 
kinds  of  passions  must  be  thought  about  singly, 
and  followed  singly  throughout  periods,  peoples, 
great  and  insignificant  individuals  ;  all  their  ration- 
ality all  their  valuations  and  elucidations  of  things, 
ought  to  come  to  light!  Hitherto  all  that  has 
given  colour  to  existence  has  lacked  a  history: 
where  would  one  find  a  history  of  love,  of  avarice, 


of  envy,  of  conscience,  of  piety,  of  cruelty  ?  Even 
a  comparative  history  of  law,  as  also  of  punish- 
ment, has  hitherto  been  completely  lacking.  Have 
the  different  divisions  of  the  day,  the  consequences 
of  a  regular  appointment  of  the  times  for  labour, 
feast,  and  repose,  ever  been  made  the  object  of 
investigation?  Do  we  know  the  moral  effects  of 
the  alimentary  substances  ?  Is  there  a  philosophy 
of  nutrition?  (The  ever-recurring  outcry  for  and 
against  vegetarianism  proves  that  as  yet  there 
is  no  such  philosophy!)  Have  the  experiences 
with  regard  to  communal  living,  for  example,  in 
monasteries,  been  collected?  Has  the  dialectic 
of  marriage  and  friendship  been  set  forth?  The 
customs  of  the  learned,  of  trades-people,  of  artists, 
and  of  mechanics — have  they  already  found  theii 
thinkers  ?  There  is  so  much  to  think  of  thereon ! 
All  that  up  till  now  has  been  considered  as  the 
"  conditions  of  existence,"  of  human  beings,  and  all 
reason,  passion  and  superstition  in  this  considera- 
tion— have  they  been  investigated  to  the  end? 
The  observation  alone  of  the  different  degrees  of 
development  which  the  human  impulses  have 
attained,  and,  could  yet  attain,  according  to  the 
different  moral  climates,  would  furnish  too  much 
work  for  the  most  laborious ;  whole  generations, 
and  regular  co-operating  generations  of  the  learned, 
would  be  needed  in  order  to  exhaust  the  points 
of  view  and  the  material  here  furnished.  The 
same  is  true  of  the  determining  of  the  reasons 
for  the  differences  of  the  moral  climates  ("  on  what 
account  does  this  sun  of  a  fundamental  moral  judg- 
ment and  standard  of  highest  value  shine  here — and 


that  sun  there  ?  ")•  And  there  is  again  a  new  labour 
which  points  out  the  erroneousness  of  all  these 
reasons,  and  determines  the  entire  essence  of  the 
moral  judgments  hitherto  made.  Supposing  all  these 
labours  to  be  accomplished,  the  most  critical  of  all 
questions  would  then  come  into  the  foreground  : 
whether  science  is  in  a  position  to  furnish  goals  for 
human  action,  after  it  has  proved  that  it  can  take 
them  away  and  annihilate  them— and  then  would  be 
the  time  for  a  process  of  experimenting,  in  which 
every  kind  of  heroism  could  satisfy  itself,  an 
experimenting  for  centuries,  which  would  put  into 
the  shade  all  the  great  labours  and  sacrifices  of 
previous  history.  Science  has  not  hitherto  built 
its  Cyclopic  structures  ;  for  that  also  the  time  will 


Unconscious  Virtues. — All  qualities  in  a  man  of 
which  he  is  conscious— and  especially  when  he 
presumes  that  they  are  visible  and  evident  to  his 
environment  also— are  subject  to  quite  other  laws 
of  development  than  those  qualities  which  are  un- 
known to  him,  or  imperfectly  known,  which  by 
their  subtlety  can  also  conceal  themselves  from 
the  subtlest  observer,  and  hide  as  it  were  behind 
nothing,— as  in  the  case  of  the  delicate  sculptures 
on  the  scales  of  reptiles  (it  would  be  an  error  to 
suppose  them  an  adornment  or  a  defence— for  one 
sees  them  only  with  the  microscope  ;  consequently, 
with  an  eye  artificially  strengthened  to  an  extent 
of  vision  which  similar  animals,  to  which  they 
might  perhaps  have  meant  adornment  or  defence, 


do  not  possess  !).  Our  visible  moral  qualities,  and 
especially  our  moral  qualities  believed  to  be  visible, 
follow  their  own  course, — and  our  invisible  qualities 
of  similar  name,  which  in  relation  to  others  neither 
serve  for  adornment  nor  defence,  also  follow  their 
own  course :  quite  a  different  course  probably,  and 
with  lines  and  refinements,  and  sculptures,  which 
might  perhaps  give  pleasure  to  a  God  with  a  divine 
microscope.  We  have,  for  example,  our  diligence, 
our  ambition,  our  acuteness :  all  the  world  knows 
about  them, — and  besides,  we  have  probably  once 
more  our  diligence,  our  ambition,  our  acuteness ; 
but  for  these — our  reptile  scales — the  microscope 
has  not  yet  been  invented ! — And  here  the  adherents 
of  instinctive  morality  will  say,  "Bravo!  He  at 
least  regards  unconscious  virtues  as  possible — that 
suffices  us  1 " — Oh,  ye  unexacting  creatures  ! 


Our  Eruptions.  —  Numberless  things  which 
humanity  acquired  in  its  earlier  stages,  but  so 
weakly  and  embryonically  that  it  could  not  be 
noticed  that  they  were  acquired,  are  thrust  suddenly 
into  light  long  afterwards,  perhaps  after  the  lapse  of 
centuries  :  they  have  in  the  interval  become  strong 
and  mature.  In  some  ages  this  or  that  talent,  this 
or  that  virtue  seems  to  be  entirely  lacking,  as  it 
is  in  some  men ;  but  let  us  wait  only  for  the 
grandchildren  and  grandchildren's  children,  if  we 
have  time  to  wait, — they  bring  the  interior  of  their 
grandfathers  into  the  sun,  that  interior  of  which 
the  grandfathers  themselves  were  unconscious. 
The  son,  indeed,  is  often  the  betrayer  of  his  father  ; 


the  latter  understands  himself  better  since  he  has 
got  his  son.  We  have  all  hidden  gardens  and 
plantations  in  us ;  and  by  another  simile,  we  are 
all  growing  volcanoes,  which  will  have  their  hours 
of.  eruption : — how  near  or  how  distant  this  is, 
nobody  of  course  knows,  not  even  the  good  God. 


A  Species  of  Atavism. — I  like  best  to  think  of  the 
rare  men  of  an  age  as  suddenly  emerging  after- 
shoots  of  past  cultures,  and  of  their  persistent 
strength :  like  the  atavism  of  a  people  and  its  civili- 
sation : — there  is  thus  still  something  in  them  to 
think  of!  They  now  seem  strange,  rare,  and  extra- 
ordinary :  and  he  who  feels  these  forces  in  himself 
has  to  foster  them  in  face  of  a  different,  opposing 
world ;  he  has  to  defend  them,  honour  them,  and  rear 
them  to  maturity :  and  he  either  becomes  a  great  man 
thereby,  or  a  deranged  and  eccentric  person,  if  he 
does  not  altogether  break  down  betimes.  Formerly 
these  rare  qualities  were  usual,  and  were  conse- 
quently regarded  as  common :  they  did  not  dis- 
tinguish people.  Perhaps  they  were  demanded  and 
presupposed ;  it  was  impossible  to  become  great 
with  them,  for  indeed  there  was  also  no  danger 
of  becoming  insane  and  solitary  with  them. — 
It  is  principally  in  the  old-established  families  and 
castes  of  a  people  that  such  after-effects  of  old 
impulses  present  themselves,  while  there  is  no 
probability  of  such  atavism  where  races,  habits, 
and  valuations  change  too  rapidly.  For  the  tempo 
of  the  evolutional  forces  in  peoples  implies  just 
as  much  as  in  music ;  for  our  case  an  andante  of 


evolution  is  absolutely  necessary,  as  the  tempo  of  a 
passionate  and  slow  spirit : — and  the  spirit  of  con- 
serving families  is  certainly  of  that  sort. 


Consciousness.  —  Consciousness   is   the  last  and 
latest  development  of  the  organic,  and  consequently 
also  the  most  unfinished  and  least  powerful  of  these 
developments.    Innumerable  mistakes  originate  out 
of  consciousness,  which, "  in  spite  of  fate,"  as  Homer 
says,  cause  an  animal  or  a  man  to  break  down 
earlier  than  might  be  necessary.     If  the  conserv- 
ing  bond   of  the    instincts  were   not   very  much 
more  powerful,  it  would  not  generally  serve  as  a 
regulator :     by    perverse    judging    and    dreaming 
with   open   eyes,   by  superficiality   and   credulity, 
in   short,  just   by   consciousness,   mankind  would 
necessarily  have  broken  down  :  or  rather,  without 
the  former  there  would  long  ago  have  been  nothing 
more  of  the  latter !    Before  a  function  is  fully  formed 
and   matured,   it   is   a   danger   to   the   organism : 
all  the  better  if  it  be  then  thoroughly  tyrannised 
over  !    Consciousness  is  thus  thoroughly  tyrannised 
over  —  and   not  least  by  the  pride  in   it !     It  is 
thought  that  here  is  the  quintessence  of  man ;  that 
which   is    enduring,   eternal,   ultimate,   and    most 
original  in  him !     Consciousness  is  regarded  as  a 
fixed,  given  magnitude !     Its  growth  and  intermit- 
tences  are  denied !     It  is  accepted  as  the  "  unity  of 
the  organism  "  ! — This  ludicrous  overvaluation  and 
misconception  of  consciousness  has  as  its  result  the 
great  utility  that  a  too  rapid  maturing  of  it  has 
thereby  been  hindered.    Because  men  believed  that 


they  already  possessed  consciousness,  they  gave 
themselves  very  little  trouble  to  acquire  it— and 
even  now  it  is  not  otherwise!  It  is  still  an 
entirely  new  problem  just  dawning  on  the  human 
eye,  and  hardly  yet  plainly  recognisable  :^  to  embody 
knowledge  in  ourselves  and  make  it  instinctive,— a 
problem  which  is  only  seen  by  those  who  have 
grasped  the  fact  that  hitherto  our  errors  alone  have 
been  embodied  in  us,  and  that  all  our  consciousness 
is  relative  to  errors  ! 


The  Goal  of  Science.— V^\\.'d!i  ?    The  ultimate  goal 
of  science  is  to  create  the  most  pleasure  possible  to 
man,  and  the  least  possible  pain?     But  what  if 
pleasure  and  pain  should  be  so  closely  connected 
that  he  who  wants  the  greatest  possible  amount  of 
the  one  must  also  have  the  greatest  possible  amount 
of  the  other,— that  he  who  wants  to  experience  the 
«  heavenly  high  jubilation,"  *  must  also  be  ready  to 
be  "  sorrowful  unto  death  "  ?  *    And  it  is  so,  perhaps ! 
The  Stoics  at  least  believed  it  was  so,  and  they 
were  consistent  when  they  wished  to  have  the  least 
possible  pleasure,  in  order  to  have  the  least  possible 
pain  from  life.     (When  one  uses  the  expression: 
"  The  virtuous  man  is  the  happiest,"  it  is  as  much 
the  sign-board  of  the  school   for  the   masses,  as 
a  casuistic  subtlety  for  the  subtle.)     At  present 
also   ye   have   still   the    choice:    either    the  least 
possible  pain,  in  short  painlessness— and  after  all, 

♦  Allusions  to  the  song  of  Clara  in  Goethe's  "  Egmont." 
— Tr. 


socialists  and  politicians  of  all  parties  could  not 
honourably  promise  more  to  their  people, — or  the 
greatest  possible  amount  of  pain,  as  the  price  of 
the  growth  of  a  fullness  of  refined  delights  and 
enjoyments  rarely  tasted  hitherto !  If  ye  decide 
for  the  former,  if  ye  therefore  want  to  depress  and 
minimise  man's  capacity  for  pain,  well,  ye  must 
also  depress  and  minimise  his  capacity  for  enjoy- 
ment. In  fact,  one  can  further  the  one  as  well  as 
the  other  goal  by  science!  Perhaps  science  is  as 
yet  best  known  by  its  capacity  for  depriving  man 
of  enjoyment,  and  making  him  colder,  more 
statuesque,  and  more  Stoical.  But  it  might  also 
turn  out  to  be  the  great  pain-bringer  ! — And  then, 
perhaps,  its  counteracting  force  would  be  discovered 
simultaneously,  its  immense  capacity  for  making 
new  sidereal  worlds  of  enjoyment  beam  forth ! 


The  Theory  of  the  Sense  of  Power. — We  exercise 
our  power  over  others  by  doing  them  good  or 
by  doing  them  ill— that  is  all  we  care  for! 
Doing  ill  to  those  on  whom  we  have  to  make  our 
power  felt ;  for  pain  is  a  far  more  sensitive  means 
for  that  purpose  than  pleasure  : — pain  always  asks 
concerning  the  cause,  while  pleasure  is  inclined 
to  keep  within  itself  and  not  look  backward. 
Doing  good  and  being  kind  to  those  who  are  in 
any  way  already  dependent  on  us  (that  is,  who 
are  accustomed  to  think  of  us  as  their  raison 
Sitre)\  we  want  to  increase  their  power,  because 
we  thus  increase  our  own;  or  we  want  to  show 


them    the  advantage    there   is    in    being   in   our 
power,-they  thus  become  more   contented  with 
their  position,  and  more  hostile  to  the  of 
our   power   and    readier   to  contend  with   them. 
If  we  make  sacrifices  in  doing  good  or  m  doing  lU, 
it  does  not  alter  the  ultimate  value  of  our  actions ; 
even  if  we  stake  our  life  in  the  cause,  as  martyrs  for 
the  sake  of  our  church,  it   is   a  sacrifice  to  our 
longing  for  power,  or  for  the  purpose  of  conserving 
our  sense  of  power.     He  who  under  these  "rcum- 
stances  feels  that  he  "is  in  possession  of  ""«> 
how  many  possessions  does  he  not  '«'  6°. '"  °'-der 
to  preserve  this  feeling  1    What  does  he  not  throw 
oveAoard,  in  order  to  keep  himsel  "up,"-that 
to  say.  J.«  the  others  who  lack  the  "truth 
Certainly  the  condition  we  are  in  when  we  do  lU 
is  seldom  so  pleasant,  so  purely  P  e^^^n>  ,^.=^  *^' 
in  which  we  practise  kindness,-it  is  an  indication 
thaTwe  still  lack  power,  or  it  betrays  ill-humour 
at  this  defect  in  us  ;  it  brings  with  it  new  dangers 
tnd    uncertainties    as   to    the   power  we  already 
possess,  and  clouds  our  horizon  by  the  P-^,?;;,' ° 
revenge,  scorn,  punishment  and  failure.     Perhaps 
only  thise  most  susceptible  to  the  sense  of  power 
and  eager  for  it,  will  prefer  to  impress  the  seal  of 
power  In  the  resisting  individual.-those  to  whom 
the  sight  of  the  already  subjugated  person  as  the 
Ob  e  t  of  benevolence  is  a  burden  and  a  teduin. 
It  is  a  question  how  a  person  is  accustomed  to 
season  his  life;  it  is  amctter  of  taste  whether  a 
p^on  would  ;ather  have  the  slow  or  the  sudden 
the  safe  or  the  dangerous  and  daring  increase  of 
power -he  seeks  this  or  that  seasoning  always 


according  to  his  temperament.  An  easy  booty 
is  something  contemptible  to  proud  natures  ;  they 
have  an  agreeable  sensation  only  at  the  sight  of 
men  of  unbroken  spirit  who  could  be  enemies  to 
them,  and  similarly,  also,  at  the  sight  of  all  not  easily 
accessible  possession ;  they  are  often  hard  toward 
the  sufferer,  for  he  is  not  worthy  of  their  effort  or 
their  pride, — but  they  show  themselves  so  much 
the  more  courteous  towards  their  equals,  with  whom 
strife  and  struggle  would  in  any  case  be  full  of 
honour,  if  at  any  time  an  occasion  for  it  should 
present  itself.  It  is  under  the  agreeable  feelings 
of  this  perspective  that  the  members  of  the 
knightly  caste  have  habituated  themselves  to  ex- 
quisite courtesy  toward  one  another. — Pity  is  the 
most  pleasant  feeling  in  those  who  have  not  much 
pride,  and  have  no  prospect  of  great  conquests:  the 
easy  booty — and  that  is  what  every  sufferer  is — is 
for  them  an  enchanting  thing.  Pity  is  said  to 
be  the  virtue  of  the  gay  lady. 


What  is  called  Love. — The  lust  of  property,  and 
love :  what  different  associations  each  of  these 
ideas  evoke! — and  yet  it  might  be  the  same  im- 
pulse twice  named :  on  the  one  occasion  disparaged 
from  the  standpoint  of  those  already  possessing 
(in  whom  the  impulse  has  attained  something  of 
repose, — who  are  now  apprehensive  for  the  safety 
of  their  "possession");  on  the  other  occasion 
viewed  from  the  standpoint  of  the  unsatisfied  and 
thirsty,   and   therefore  glorified   as  "good."    Our 


love  of  our  neighbour, — is  it  not  a  striving  after  new 
property  ?  And  similarly  our  love  of  knowledge,  of 
truth;  and  in  general  all  the  striving  after  novelties? 
We  gradually  become  satiated  with  the  old  and 
securely  possessed,  and  again  stretch  out  our  hands ; 
even  the  finest  landscape  in  which  we  live  for  three 
months  is  no  longer  certain  of  our  love,  and  any 
kind  of  more  distant  coast  excites  our  covetousness : 
the  possession  for  the  most  part  becomes  smaller 
through  possessing.  Our  pleasure  in  ourselves 
seeks  to  maintain  itself  by  always  transforming 
something  new  into  ourselves^ — that  is  just  possess- 
ing. To  become  satiated  with  a  possession,  that  is 
to  become  satiated  with  ourselves.  (One  can  also 
suffer  from  excess, — even  the  desire  to  cast  away, 
to  share  out,  may  assume  the  honourable  name  of 
"  love.")  When  we  see  any  one  suffering,  we  willingly 
utilise  the  opportunity  then  afforded  to  take  posses- 
sion of  him  ;  the  beneficent  and  sympathetic  man, 
for  example,  does  this  ;  he  also  calls  the  desire  for 
new  possession  awakened  in  him,  by  the  name  of 
"love,"  and  has  enjoyment  in  it,  as  in  a  new 
acquisition  suggesting  itself  to  him.  The  love  of 
the  sexes,  however,  betrays  itself  most  plainly  as 
the  striving  after  possession :  the  lover  wants  the 
unconditioned,  sole  possession  of  the  person  longed 
for  by  him  ;  he  wants  just  as  absolute  power  over 
her  soul  as  over  her  body  ;  he  wants  to  be  loved 
solely,  and  to  dwell  and  rule  in  the  other  soul  as 
what  is  highest  and  most  to  be  desired.  When 
one  considers  that  this  means  precisely  to  ex- 
clude all  the  world  from  a  precious  possession,  a 
happiness,  and  an  enjoyment ;  when  one  considers 


that  the  lover  has  in  view  the  impoverishment  and 
privation  of  all  other  rivals,  and  would  like  to 
become  the  dragon  of  his  golden  hoard,  as  the 
most  inconsiderate  and  selfish  of  all  "  conquerors  " 
and  exploiters ;  when  one  considers  finally  that  to 
the  lover  himself,  the  whole  world  besides  appears 
indifferent,  colourless,  and  worthless,  and  that  he 
is  ready  to  make  every  sacrifice,  disturb  every 
arrangement,  and  put  every  other  interest  behind 
his  own, — one  is  verily  surprised  that  this  ferocious 
lust  of  property  and  injustice  of  sexual  love  should 
have  been  glorified  and  deified  to  such  an  extent  at 
all  times  ;  yea,  that  out  of  this  love  the  conception 
of  love  as  the  antithesis  of  egoism  should  have  been 
derived,  when  it  is  perhaps  precisely  the  most  un- 
qualified expression  of  egoism.  Here,  evidently,  the 
non-possessors  and  desirers  have  determined  the 
usage  of  language, — there  were,  of  course,  always 
too  many  of  them.  Those  who  have  been  favoured 
with  much  possession  and  satiety,  have,  to  be  sure, 
dropped  a  word  now  and  then  about  the  "  raging 
demon,"  as,  for  instance,  the  most  lovable  and  most 
beloved  of  all  the  Athenians — Sophocles ;  but  Eros 
always  laughed  at  such  revilers,  —  they  were 
always  his  greatest  favourites. — There  is,  of  course, 
here  and  there  on  this  terrestrial  sphere  a  kind  of 
sequel  to  love,  in  which  that  covetous  longing  of 
two  persons  for  one  another  has  yielded  to  a  new 
desire  and  covetousness,  to  a  common,  higher  thirst 
for  a  superior  ideal  standing  above  them  :  but  who 
knows  this  love?  Who  has  experienced  it?  Its 
right  name  \s  friendship. 



Out  of  the  Distance. — This  mountain  makes  the 
whole  district  which  it  dominates  charming  in 
every  way,  and  full  of  significance.  After  we  have 
said  this  to  ourselves  for  the  hundredth  time,  we 
are  so  irrationally  and  so  gratefully  disposed  to- 
wards it,  as  the  giver  of  this  charm,  that  we 
fancy  it  must  itself  be  the  most  charming  thing 
in  the  district  —  and  so  we  climb  it,  and  are 
undeceived.  All  of  a  sudden,  both  it  and  the 
landscape  around  us  and  under  us,  are  as  it  were 
disenchanted  ;  we  had  forgotten  that  many  a  great- 
ness, like  many  a  goodness,  wants  only  to  be  seen 
at  a  certain  distance,  and  entirely  from  below,  not 
from  above, — it  is  thus  only  that  it  operates.  Per- 
haps you  know  men  in  your  neighbourhood  who 
can  only  look  at  themselves  from  a  certain  distance 
to  find  themselves  at  all  endurable,  or  attractive 
and  enlivening ;  they  are  to  be  dissuaded  from  self- 

Across  the  Plank.— On^  must  be  able  to  dis- 
simulate in  intercourse  with  persons  who  are 
ashamed  of  their  feelings  ;  they  take  a  sudden 
aversion  to  anyone  who  surprises  them  in  a 
state  of  tenderness,  or  of  enthusiastic  and  high- 
running  feeling,  as  if  he  had  seen  their  secrets.  If 
one  wants  to  be  kind  to  them  in  such  moments 
one  should  make  them  laugh,  or  say  some  kind  of 
cold,  playful  wickedness  :— their  feeling  thereby 
congeals,  and  they  are  again  self-possessed.  But 
I  give  the  moral  before  the  story.— We  were  once 


on  a  time  so  near  one  another  in  the  course  of  our 
lives,  that  nothing  more  seemed  to  hinder  our 
friendship  and  fraternity,  and  there  was  merely  a 
small  plank  between  us.  While  you  were  just 
about  to  step  on  it,  I  asked  you :  "  Do  you  want 
to  come  across  the  plank  to  me?"  But  then  you 
did  not  want  to  come  any  longer  ;  and  when  I  again 
entreated,  you  were  silent.  Since  then  mountains 
and  torrents,  and  whatever  separates  and  alienates, 
have  interposed  between  us,  and  even  if  we  wanted 
to  come  to  one  another,  we  could  no  longer  do  so  ! 
When,  however,  you  now  remember  that  small 
plank,  you  have  no  longer  words,— but  merely  sobs 
and  amazement. 


Motivation  of  Poverty. — We  cannot,  to  be  sure,  by 
any  artifice  make  a  rich  and  richly-flowing  virtue 
out  of  a  poor  one,  but  we  can  gracefully  enough 
reinterpret  its  poverty  into  necessity,  so  that  its 
aspect  no  longer  gives  pain  to  us,  and  we  cease 
making  reproachful  faces  at  fate  on  account  of  it. 
It  is  thus  that  the  wise  gardener  does  who  puts  the 
tiny  streamlet  of  his  garden  into  the  arms  of  a 
fountain-nymph,  and  thus  motivates  the  poverty  :— 
and  who  would  not  like  him  need  the  nymphs ! 

Ancient  Pride. — The  ancient  savour  of  nobility 
is  lacking  in  us,  because  the  ancient  slave  is  lacking 
in  our  sentiment.  A  Greek  of  noble  descent  found 
such  immense  intermediate  stages,  and  such  a 
distance  betwixt  his  elevation  and  that  ultimate 


baseness,  that  he  could  hardly  even  see  the  slave 
plainly :  even  Plato  no  longer  saw  him  entirely. 
It  is  otherwise  with  us,  accustomed  as  we  are  to 
the  doctrine  of  the  equality  of  men,  although  not 
to  the  equality  itself  A  being  who  has  not  the 
free  disposal  of  himself  and  has  not  got  leisure, 
— that  is  not  regarded  by  us  as  anything  con- 
temptible ;  there  is  perhaps  too  much  of  this  kind 
of  slavishness  in  each  of  us,  in  accordance  with 
the  conditions  of  our  social  order  and  activity, 
which  are  fundamentally  different  from  those  of 
the  ancients. — The  Greek  philosopher  went  through 
life  with  the  secret  feeling  that  there  were  many 
more  slaves  than  people  supposed  —  that  is  to 
say,  that  every  one  was  a  slave  who  was  not  a 
philosopher.  His  pride  was  puffed  up  when  he 
considered  that  even  the  mightiest  of  the  earth 
were  thus  to  be  looked  upon  as  slaves.  This 
pride  is  also  unfamiliar  to  us,  and  impossible ;  the 
word  "  slave "  has  not  its  full  force  for  us  even  in 


Evil. — Test  the  life  of  the  best  and  most  pro- 
ductive men  and  nations,  and  ask  yourselves 
whether  a  tree  which  is  to  grow  proudly  heaven- 
ward can  dispense  with  bad  weather  and  tempests  : 
whether  disfavour  and  opposition  from  without, 
whether  every  kind  of  hatred,  jealousy,  stubborn- 
ness, distrust,  severity,  greed,  and  violence  do  not 
belong  to  the  favouring  circumstances  without 
which  a  great  growth  even  in  virtue  is  hardly 
possible  ?     The  poison  by  which  the  weaker  nature 


is  destroyed   is  strengthening  to  the  strong  indi- 
vidual— and  he  does  not  call  it  poison. 

Dignity  of  Folly. — Several  millenniums  further 
on  in  the  path  of  the  last  century ! — and  in  every- 
thing that  man  does  the  highest  prudence  will  be 
exhibited :  but  just  thereby  prudence  will  have 
lost  all  its  dignity.  It  will  then,  sure  enough,  be 
necessary  to  be  prudent,  but  it  will  also  be  so 
usual  and  common,  that  a  more  fastidious  taste 
will  feel  this  necessity  as  vulgarity.  And  just  as  a 
tyranny  of  truth  and  science  would  be  in  a  position 
to  raise  the  value  of  falsehood,  a  tyranny  of  prudence 
could  force  into  prominence  a  new  species  of  noble- 
ness. To  be  noble — that  might  then  mean,  perhaps, 
to  be  capable  of  follies. 


To  the  Teachers  of  Unselfishness. — The  virtues  of 
a  man  are  called  good,  not  in  respect  to  the  results 
they  have  for  himself,  but  in  respect  to  the  results 
which  we  expect  therefrom  for  ourselves  and  for 
society: — we  have  all  along  had  very  little  unselfish- 
ness, very  little  "  non-egoism  "  in  our  praise  of  the 
virtues !  For  otherwise  it  could  not  but  have  been 
seen  that  the  virtues  (such  as  diligence,  obedience, 
chastity,  piety,  justice)  are  mostly  injurious  to 
their  possessors,  as  impulses  which  rule  in  them 
too  vehemently  and  ardently,  and  do  not  want 
to  be  kept  in  co-ordination  with  the  other  im- 
pulses by  the  reason.  If  you  have  a  virtue,  an 
actual,  perfect  virtue  (and  not  merely  a  kind  of 


impulse  towards  virtue  !)-you  are  its  victim  /    But 
your  neighbour   praises  your  virtue  precisely  on 
that  account !     One  praises  the  diligent  man  though 
he  injures  his  sight,  or  the  originality  and  freshness 
of   his    spirit,    by    his    diligence;    the    youth    is 
honoured   and  regretted  who   has  "worn  himself 
out  by  work,"  because  one  passes  the  judgnient 
that  "for  society  as  a  whole  the  loss  of  the  best 
individual  is  only  a  small  sacrifice!     A  pity  that 
this  sacrifice  should  be  necessary  !     A  much  greater 
pity  it  is  true,  if  the  individual  should  thmk  differ- 
ently, and  regard  his  preservation  and  development 
as  more  important  than  his  work  in  the  service  of 
society'"     And  so  one  regrets  this  youth,  not  on 
his  own  account,  but  because  a  devoted  instrument, 
regardless   of  self-a  so-called  "good   man,    has 
been  lost  to  society  by  his  death     Perhaps  one 
further  considers  the  question,  whether  it  would  not 
have  been  more  advantageous  for  the  interests  of 
society  if  he  had  laboured  with  less  disregard  of 
himself,  and  had  preserved  himself  longer,-mdeed 
one  readily  admits  an  advantage  therefrom    but 
one  esteems  the  other  advantage,  namely,  that  a 
sacrifice  has  been  made,  and  that  the  disposition 
of  the  sacrificial  animal  has  once  more  been  obvtously 
endorsed-as   higher   and   more   enduring.     It  is 
accordingly,   on    the    one   part    the   instrumental 
character  in   the   virtues   which   is   praised  when 
the  virtues  are  praised,  and  on  the  other  part  the 
blind,  ruling  impulse  in  every  virtue  which  refuses 
to  let  itself  be  kept  within  bounds  by  the  general 
advantage  to  the   individual;    in   short, _  what   is 
praised  is  the  unreason  in  the  virtues,  in  conse- 


quencc  of  which  the  individual  allows  himself  to 
be  transformed  into  a  function  of  the  whole.  The 
praise  of  the  virtues  is  the  praise  of  something 
which  is  privately  injurious  to  the  individual ;  it  is 
praise  of  impulses  which  deprive  man  of  his  noblest 
self-love,  and  the  power  to  take  the  best  care  of 
himself.  To  be  sure,  for  the  teaching  and  embody- 
ing of  virtuous  habits  a  series  of  effects  of  virtue 
are  displayed,  which  make  it  appear  that  virtue 
and  private  advantage  are  closely  related, — and 
there  is  in  fact  such  a  relationship !  Blindly 
furious  diligence,  for  example,  the  typical  virtue  of 
an  instrument,  is  represented  as  the  way  to  riches 
and  honour,  and  as  the  most  beneficial  antidote  to 
tedium  and  passion  :  but  people  are  silent  concern- 
ing its  danger,  its  greatest  dangerousness.  Educa- 
tion proceeds  in  this  manner  throughout :  it 
endeavours,  by  a  series  of  enticements  and  advan- 
tages, to  determine  the  individual  to  a  certain  mode 
of  thinking  and  acting,  which,  when  it  has  become 
habit,  impulse  and  passion,  rules  in  him  and 
over  him,  in  opposition  to  his  ultimate  advantage^ 
but  "  for  the  general  good."  How  often  do  I  see 
that  blindly  furious  diligence  does  indeed  create 
riches  and  honours,  but  at  the  same  time  deprives 
the  organs  of  the  refinement  by  virtue  of  which 
alone  an  enjoyment  of  riches  and  honours  is 
possible ;  so  that  really  the  main  expedient  for 
combating  tedium  and  passion,  simultaneously 
blunts  the  senses  and  makes  the  spirit  refractory 
towards  new  stimuli !  (The  busiest  of  all  ages — 
our  age — does  not  know  how  to  make  anything 
out  of  its  great  diligence  and  wealth,  except  always 


more    and    more    wealth,    and    more    and    more 
diligence;   there  is  even  more  genius  needed  for 
laying  out  wealth  than  for  acquiring  it!— Well,  we 
shall  have  our  "grandchildren"!)     If  the  educa- 
tion succeeds,  every  virtue  of  the  individual  is  a 
.  public  utility,  and  a  private  disadvantage  in  respect 
to  the  highest  private  end,— probably  some  psycho- 
aesthetic  stunting,  or  even  premature  dissolution. 
One  should  consider  successively  from  the  same 
standpoint  the  virtues  of  obedience,  chastity,  piety, 
and   justice.     The   praise    of  the   unselfish,   self- 
sacrificing,  virtuous  person— he,  consequently,  who 
does  not    expend   his   whole   energy  and   reason 
for  his  own  conservation,  development,  elevation, 
furtherance  and  augmentation  of  power,  but  lives 
as  regards  himself  unassumingly  and  thoughtlessly, 
perhaps  even  indifferently  or  ironically,— this  praise 
has  in  any  case  not  originated  out  of  the  spirit  of 
unselfishness !     The  "  neighbour  "  praises  unselfish- 
ness because  he  profits  by  it!     If  the  neighbour 
were   "unselfishly"    disposed    himself,    he  would 
reject  that  destruction  of  power,  that  injury  for  his 
advantage,  he  would  thwart  such  inclinations  in 
their  origin,  and  above  all  he  would  manifest  his 
unselfishness  just  by  not  giving  it  a  good  name! 
The  fundamental  contradiction   in   that  morality 
which  at  present  stands  in  high   honour  is  here 
indicated :  the  motives  to  such  a  morality  are  in 
antithesis  to  its  principle!    That  with  which  this 
morality  wishes   to  prove  itself,  refutes  it  out  of. 
its  criterion  of  what  is  moral !     The  maxim,  "  Thou 
Shalt    renounce    thyself  and    offer .  thyself   as    a 
sacrifice,"  in  order  not  to  be  inconsistent  with  its 


own  morality,  could  only  be  decreed  by  a  being 
who  himself  renounced  his  own  advantage  thereby, 
and  who  perhaps  in  the  required  self-sacrifice  of 
individuals  brought  about  his  own  dissolution. 
As  soon,  however,  as  the  neighbour  (or  society) 
recommended  altruism  on  account  of  its  utility,  the 
precisely  antithetical  proposition,  "  Thou  shalt  seek 
thy  advantage  even  at  the  expense  of  everybody 
else,"  was  brought  into  use:  accordingly,  "thou 
shalt,"  and  "  thou  shalt  not,"  are  preached  in  one 
breath ! 


LOrdre  du  Jour  pour  le  i?^/.— The  day  com- 
mences :  let  us  begin  to  arrange  for  this  day  the 
business  and  fetes  of  our  most  gracious  lord,  who 
at  present  is  still  pleased  to  repose.  His  Majesty 
has  bad  weather  to-day :  we  shall  be  careful  not 
to  call  it  bad;  we  shall  not  speak  of  the  weather,— 
but  we  shall  go  through  to-day's  business  somewhat 
more  ceremoniously  and  make  the  fgtes  somewhat 
more  festive  than  would  otherwise  be  necessary. 
His  Majesty  may  perhaps  even  be  sick :  we  shall 
give  the  last  good  news  of  the  evening  at  breakfast, 
the  arrival  of  M.  Montaigne,  who  knows  how  to  joke 
so  pleasantly  about  his  sickness,— he  suffers  from 
stone.  We  shall  receive  several  persons  (persons ! — 
what  would  that  old  inflated  frog,  who  will  be 
among  them,  say,  if  he  heard  this  word !  "  I  am 
no  person,"  he  would  say,  "but  always  the  thing 
itself ")— and  the  reception  will  last  longer  than  is 
pleasant  to  anybody;  a  sufficient  reason  for  telling 
about  the  poet  who  wrote  over  his  door,  "  He  who 


enters  here  will  do  me  an  honour ;   he  who  does 
not— a  favour."— That  is,  forsooth,  saying  a  discour- 
teous thing  in  a  courteous  manner !     And  perhaps 
this  poet  is  quite  justified  on  his  part   in  being 
discourteous  ;  they  say  that  his  rhymes  are  better 
than  the  rhymester.     Well,  let  him  still  make  many 
of  them,  and  withdraw  himself  as  much  as  possible 
from  the  world:    and  that  is  doubtless  the  signi- 
ficance of  his  well-bred  rudeness!     A  prince,  on 
the  other  hand,  is  always  of  more  value  than  his 
"verse,"  even  when — but  what  are  we  about ?     We 
gossip,  and  the  whole  court  believes  that  we  have 
already  been  at  work  and  racked  our  brains  :  there 
is  no  light  to  be  seen  earlier  than  that  which  burns 
in  our  window.— Hark !     Was  that  not  the  bell? 
The  devil!     The  day  and  the  dance  commence, 
and  we  do  not  know  our  rounds !     We  must  then 
improvise, — all  the  world  improvises  its  day.     To- 
day, let  us  for  once  do  like  all  the  world !— And 
therewith  vanished  my  wonderful  morning  dream, 
probably  owing  to  the  violent  strokes  of  the  tower- 
clock,  which  just  then  announced   the  fifth  hour 
with  all  the  importance  which  is  peculiar  to  it.     It 
seems   to  me  that  on  this  occasion  the   God  of 
dreams  wanted  to  make  merry  over  my  habits,— 
it  is  my  habit  to  commence  the  day  by  arranging 
»  it  properly,  to  make  it  endurable  for  myself,  and 
it  is  possible  that  I  may  often  have  done  this  too 
formally,  and  too  much  like  a  prince. 


The  Characteristics  of  Corruption.— 'LQt  us  observe 
the  following  characteristics  in  that  condition  of 


society  from  time  to  time  necessary,  which  is  desig- 
nated by  the  word  "  corruption,"    I  mmediately  upon 
the  appearance  of  corruption  anywhere,  a  motley 
superstition  gets  the  upper  hand,  and  the  hitherto 
universal  belief  of  a  people  becomes  colourless  and 
impotent  in  comparison  with  it ;  for  superstition  is 
freethinking  of  the   second    rank,— he  who   gives 
himself  over  to  it  selects  certain  forms  and  formulae 
which  appeal  to  him,  and  permits  himself  a  right 
of  choice.     The  superstitious  man  is  always  much 
more  of  a  "  person,"  in  comparison  with  the  religious 
man,  and  a  superstitious   society  will   be   one   in 
which  there  are  many  individuals,  and  a  delight  in 
individuality.     Seen  from  this  standpoint  supersti- 
tion always  appears  as  a  progress  in  comparison 
with  belief,  and  as  a  sign  that  the  intellect  becomes 
more   independent  and  claims  to  have  its  rights. 
Those   who   reverence   the   old   religion   and   the 
religious  disposition  then  complain  of  corruption, — 
they  have   hitherto  also  determined  the  usage  of 
language,  and  have  given  a  bad  repute  to  supersti- 
tion, even  among  the  freest  spirits.     Let  us  learn 
that  it  is  a  symptom  of  enlightenment. — Secondly, 
a  society  in  which  corruption  takes  a  hold  is  blamed 
for  effeminacy:    for  the  appreciation  of  war,  and 
the  delight  in  war,  perceptibly  diminish  in  such  a 
society,  and  the  conveniences  of  life  are  now  just 
as    eagerly    sought    after  as    were    military    and 
gymnastic  honours  formerly.     But  one  is   accus- 
tomed to  overlook  the  fact  that  the  old  national 
energy   and   national    passion,   which  acquired    a 
magnificent  splendour  in  war  and  in  the  tourney, 
has  now  transferred  itself  into  innumerable  private 


passions,    and    has    merely   become    less   visible; 
indeed  in  periods  of  "  corruption  "  the  quantity  and 
quality  of  the  expended  energy  of  a  people  is  prob- 
ably greater  than  ever,  and  the  individual  spends 
it  lavishly,  to  such  an  extent  as  could  not  be  done 
formerly — he  was  not  then  rich  enough  to  do  so ! 
And  thus  it  is  precisely  in  times  of  "  effeminacy " 
that  tragedy  runs  at  large  in  and  out  of  doors,  it 
is   then   that   ardent   love   and  ardent  hatred  are 
born,  and  the  flame  of  knowledge  flashes  heaven- 
ward in  full  blaze. — Thirdly,  as  if  in  amends  for  the 
reproach  of  superstition  and  effeminacy,  it  is  cus- 
tomary to  say  of  such  periods  of  corruption  that 
they  are  milder,  and  that  cruelty  has  then  greatly 
diminished   in   comparison   with    the   older,  more 
credulous,  and  stronger  period.     But  to  this  praise 
I  am  just  as  little  able  to  assent  as  to  that  reproach  : 
I  only  grant  so  much — namely,  that  cruelty  now 
becomes   more  refined,   and   its   older   forms   are 
henceforth  counter  to  the  taste  ;  but  the  wounding 
and  torturing  by  word  and  look  reaches  its  highest 
development  in  times  of  corruption, — it  is  now  only 
that  wickedness  is  created,  and  the  delight  in  wicked- 
ness.    The  men  of  the  period  of  corruption  are 
witty  and  calumnious ;   they  know  that  there  are 
yet  other  ways  of  murdering  than  by  the  dagger 
and  the  ambush — they  know  also  that  all  that  is 
well  said  is    believed   in. — Fourthly,   it   is   when 
"  morals  decay  "  that  those  beings  whoTi  one  calls 
tyrants  first  make  their  appearance ;  they  are  the 
forerunners  of  the  individual,  and  as  it  were  early 
matured  firstlings.    Yet  a   little  while,  and   this 
fruit  of  fruits  hangs  ripe  and  yellow  on  the  tree  of 


a  people, — and  only  for  the  sake  of  such  fruit  did 
this  tree  exist !  When  the  decay  has  reached  its 
worst,  and  likewise  the  conflict  of  all  sorts  of  tyrants, 
there  always  arises  the  Caesar,  the  final  tyrant,  who 
puts  an  end  to  the  exhausted  struggle  for  sove- 
reignty, by  making  the  exhaustedness  work  for  him. 
In  his  time  the  individual  is  usually  most  mature, 
and  consequently  the  "culture"  is  highest  and 
most  fruitful,  but  not  on  his  account  nor  through 
him :  although  the  men  of  highest  culture  love  to 
flatter  their  Caesar  by  pretending  that  they  are  Ms 
creation.  The  truth,  however,  is  that  they  need 
quietness  externally,  because  they  have  disquietude 
and  labour  internally.  In  these  times  bribery  and 
treason  are  at  their  height :  for  the  love  of  the  e£^o, 
then  first  discovered,  is  much  more  powerful  than 
the  love  of  the  old,  used-up,  hackneyed  "father- 
land" ;  and  the  need  to  be  secure  in  one  way  or  other 
against  the  frightful  fluctuations  of  fortune,  opens 
even  the  nobler  hands,  as  soon  as  a  richer  and  more 
powerful  person  shows  himself  ready  to  put  gold 
into  them.  There  is  then  so  little  certainty  with 
regard  to  the  future ;  people  live  only  for  the  day  : 
a  psychical  condition  which  enables  every  deceiver 
to  play  an  easy  game, — people  of  course  only  let 
themselves  be  misled  and  bribed  "  for  the  present," 
and  reserve  for  themselves  futurity  and  virtue. 
The  individuals,  as  is  well  known,  the  men  who 
only  live  for  themselves,  provide  for  the  moment 
more  than  do  their  opposites,  the  gregarious  men, 
because  they  consider  themselves  just  as  incalcul- 
able as  the  future ;  and  similarly  they  attach  them- 
selves willingly  to  despots,  because  they  believe 


themselves  capable  of  activities   and  expedients, 
which  can  neither  reckon  on  being  understood  by 
the  multitude,  nor  on  finding  favour  with  them  - 
but  the  tyrant  or  the  C^sar  understands  the  rights 
of  the  individual  even  in  his  excesses,  and  has  an 
interest  in  speaking  on  behalf  of  a  bolder  private 
morality,  and  even  in  giving  his  hand  to  it     For 
he  thinks  of  himself,  and  wishes  people  to  think  of 
him  what   Napoleon  once  uttered  in  his  classica 
style—"  I  have  the  right  to  answer  by  an  eternal 
'thus  I  am'  to  everything  about  which  complaint 
is  brought  against  me.     I  am  apart  from  all  the 
world.  I  accept  conditions  from  nobody      I  wish 
people  also  to  submit  to  my  fancies,  and  to  take 
it  quite  as  a  simple  matter,  if  I  should  indulge  in 
this   or   that    diversion."     Thus    spoke    Napoleon 
once  to  his  wife,  when  she  had  reasons  for  calling 
in  question  the  fidelity  of  her  husband.-The  times 
of  corruption  are  the  seasons  when  the  apples  fall 
from  the  tree:    I  mean  the  individuals,  the  seed- 
bearers   of  the   future,   the   pioneers   of  spiritua 
colonisation,  and  of  a  new  construction  of  national 
and  social  unions.     Corruption  is  only  an  abusive 
term  for  the  harvest  time  of  a  people. 

Different  Dissatisfactions.— 1\iQ  feeble  and  as  it 
were  feminine  dissatisfied  people,  have  ingenuity 
for  beautifying  and  deepening  life;  the  strong 
dissatisfied  people-the  masculine  persons  among 
them  to  continue  the  metaphor— have  ingenuity 
for  improving  and  safeguarding  life.    The  former 


show  their  weakness  and  feminine  character  by 
willingly  letting  themselves  be  temporarily  deceived, 
and  perhaps  even  by  putting  up  with  a  little 
ecstasy  and  enthusiasm  on  a  time,  but  on  the  whole 
they  are  never  to  be  satisfied,  and  suffer  from  the 
incurability  of  their  dissatisfaction  ;  moreover  they 
are  the  patrons  of  all  those  who  manage  to  concoct 
opiate  and  narcotic  comforts,  and  on  that  account 
are  averse  to  those  who  value  the  physician 
higher  than  the  priest, — they  thereby  encourage 
the  continuance  of  actual  distress !  If  there  had 
not  been  a  surplus  of  dissatisfied  persons  of  this 
kind  in  Europe  since  the  time  of  the  Middle  Ages, 
the  remarkable  capacity  of  Europeans  for  constant 
transformation  would  perhaps  not  have  originated 
at  all ;  for  the  claims  of  the  strong  dissatisfied 
persons  are  too  gross,  and  really  too  modest  to 
resist  being  finally  quieted  down.  China  is  an 
instance  of  a  country  in  which  dissatisfaction  on  a 
grand  scale  and  the  capacity  for  transformation 
have  died  out  for  many  centuries  ;  and  the  Socialists 
and  state-idolaters  of  Europe  could  easily  bring 
things  to  Chinese  conditions  and  to  a  Chinese 
"  happiness,"  with  their  measures  for  the  ameliora- 
tion and  security  of  life,  provided  that  they  could 
first  of  all  root  out  the  sicklier,  tenderer,  more 
feminine  dissatisfaction  and  Romanticism  which 
are  still  very  abundant  among  us.  Europe  is  an 
invalid  who  owes  her  best  thanks  to  her  incurability 
and  the  eternal  transformations  of  her  sufferings ; 
these  constant  new  situations,  these  equally  con- 
stant new  dangers,  pains,  and  make-shifts,  have  at 
last  generated  an  intellectual  sensitiveness  which  is 


almost   equal   to   genius,  and  is  in  any  case  the 
mother  of  all  genius. 

Not  Pre-ordained  to  Knowledge.— There  is  a  pur- 
blind humility  not  at  all  rare,  and  when  a  person 
is  afflicted  with  it,  he  is  once  for  all  disquahfied 
for  being  a  disciple  of  knowledge.     It  is  this  in 
fact:    the  moment  a  man  of  this  kind  perceives 
anything  striking,  he  turns  as  it  were  on  his  heel 
and  says  to  himself:  "You  have  deceived  yourself! 
Where  have   your  wits  been!      This   cannot   be 
the  truth !  "-and  then,  instead  of  looking  at  it  and 
listening  to  it  with  more  attention,  he  runs  out  of 
the  way  of  the  striking  object  as  if  intimidated, 
and  seeks  to  get  it  out  of  his  head  as  q^ckly  as 
oossible.     For  his  fundamental  rule  runs  thus  :     1 
want  to   see  nothing  that   contradicts  the  "sual 
opinion  concerning  things !     Am  /  created  for  the 
purpose   of   discovering   new   truths?     There   are 
already  too  many  of  the  old  ones." 


What  is  i,Vm^?-Living-thatis  to  continually 
eliminate  from  ourselves  what  is  about  to  die; 
L  "ng-that  is  to  be  cruel  and  inexorable  towards 
all  that  becomes  weak  and  old  in  ourselves  and 
not  only  in  ourselves.  Living-that  means,  there- 
?ore  to  be  without  piety  toward  the  dymg,  the 
wretched  and  the  old?  To  be  continually  a  mur- 
derer p-And  yet  old  Moses  said :  "  Thou  shalt  not 



The  Self-Renouncer.  —  What  does  the  self- 
renouncer  do?  He  strives  after  a  higher  world, 
he  wants  to  fly  longer  and  further  and  higher  than 
all  men  of  affirmation — he  throws  away  many  things 
that  would  impede  his  flight,  and  several  things 
among  them  that  are  not  valueless,  that  are  not 
unpleasant  to  him  :  he  sacrifices  them  to  his  desire 
for  elevation.  Now  this  sacrificing,  this  casting 
away,  is  the  very  thing  which  becomes  visible 
in  him :  on  that  account  one  calls  him  a  self- 
renouncer,  and  as  such  he  stands  before  us, 
enveloped  in  his  cowl,  and  as  the  soul  of  a 
hair-shirt.  With  this  effect,  however,  which  he 
makes  upon  us  he  is  well  content:  he  wants  to 
keep  concealed  from  us  his  desire,  his  pride,  his 
intention  of  flying  above  us. — Yes !  He  is  wiser 
than  we  thought,  and  so  courteous  towards  us — 
this  aflfirmer!  For  that  is  what  he  is,  like  us, 
even  in  his  self-renunciation. 


Injuring  with  one's  best  Qualities. — Our  strong 
points  sometimes  drive  us  so  far  forward  that  we 
cannot  any  longer  endure  our  weaknesses,  and  we 
perish  by  them :  we  also  perhaps  see  this  result 
beforehand,  but  nevertheless  do  not  want  it  to  be 
otherwise.  We  then  become  hard  towards  that 
which  would  fain  be  spared  in  us,  and  our  pitiless - 
ness  is  also  our  greatness.  Such  an  experience, 
which  must  in  the  end  cost  us  our  liie,  is  a  symbol 



of  the  collective  effect  of  great  men  upon  others 
and  upon  their  epoch :— it  is  just  with  their  best 
abilities,  with  that  which  only  they  can  do,  that  they 
destroy  much  that  is  weak,  uncertain,  evolving,  and 
willing,  and  are  thereby  injurious.  Indeed,  the 
case  may  happen  in  which,  taken  on  the  whole, 
they  only  do  injury,  because  their  best  is  accepted 
and  drunk  up  as  it  were  solely  by  those  who  lose 
their  understanding  and  their  egoism  by  it,  as  by 
too  strong  a  beverage  ;  they  become  so  intoxicated 
that  they  go  breaking  their  limbs  on  all  the  wrong 
roads  where  their  drunkenness  drives  them. 


Adventitious  Liars.  — ^hen   people   began    to 
combat  the  unity  of  Aristotle  in  France,  and  con- 
sequently also  to  defend  it,  there  was  once  more 
to  be  seen  that  which  has  been  seen  so  often,  but 
seen  so  unwillingly  -.—people  imposed  false  reasons 
on  themselves  on  account  of  which  those  laws  ought 
to  exist,  merely  for  the  sake  of  not  acknowledgmg 
to  themselves  that  they  had  accustomed  themselves 
to  the  authority  of  those  laws,  and  did  not  want 
any  longer  to  have  things  otherwise.     And  people 
do  so  in  every  prevailing  morality  and  religion,  and 
have  always  done  so:  the  reasons  and  intentions 
behind  the  habit,  are  only  added  surreptitiously 
when  people  begin  to  combat  the  habit,  and  ask  for 
reasons  and  intentions.     It  is  here  that  the  great 
dishonesty  of  the  conservatives  of  all  times  hides : 
—they  are  adventitious  liars. 



The  Comedy  of  Celebrated  Men. — Celebrated  men 
who  need  their  fame,  as,  for  instance,  all  politicians, 
no  longer  select  their  associates  and  friends  without 
fore-thought:   from  the  one  they  want  a  portion 
of  the  splendour  and  reflection  of  his  virtues  ;  from 
the  other  they  want  the  fear-inspiring  power  of 
certain  dubious  qualities  in  him,  of  which  every- 
body is  aware ;  from  another  they  steal  his  reputa- 
tion for  idleness  and  basking  in  the  sun,  because  it 
is  advantageous  for  their  own  ends  to  be  regarded 
temporarily  as  heedless  and  lazy : — it  conceals  the 
fact  that  they  lie  in  ambush;    they  now  use  the 
visionaries,  now  the  experts,  now  the  brooders,  now 
the  pedants  in  their  neighbourhood,  as  their  actual 
selves  for  the  time;  but  very  soon  they  do  not 
need  them  any  longer !     And  thus  while  their  en- 
vironment and  outside  die  off  continually,  every- 
thing   seems    to    crowd    into    this    environment, 
and  wants  to  become  a  "  character "  of  it ;    they 
are  like  great  cities  in  this  respect.     Their  repute 
is  continually  in   process   of  mutation,  like  their 
character,  for  their  changing  methods  require  this 
change,  and  they  show  and  exhibit  sometimes  this 
and  sometimes  that  actual  or  fictitious  quality  on 
the  stage ;  their  friends  and  associates,  as  we  have 
said,  belong  to  these  stage  properties.    On  the  other 
hand,  that  which  they  aim  at  must  remain  so  much 
the  more  steadfast,  and  burnished  and  resplendent 
in  the  distance,— and  this  also  sometimes  needs  its 
comedy  and  its  stage-play. 



Commerce  and  Nodth'iy.— Buying  and  selling  is 
now  regarded  as  something  ordinary,  like  the  art 
of  reading  and  writing ;   everyone  is  now  trained 
to  it  even  when  he  is  not  a  tradesman  exercising 
himself  daily  in  the  art ;   precisely  as  formerly  in 
the  period  of  uncivilised  humanity,  everyone  was  a 
hunter  and  exercised  himself  day  by  day  in  the 
art    of    hunting.     Hunting   was    then    something 
common  :  but  just  as  this  finally  became  a  privilege 
of  the  powerful  and  noble,  and  thereby  lost  the 
character  of  the  commonplace  and  the  ordinary — 
by  ceasing  to  be  necessary  and  by  becoming  an 
affair  of  fancy  and  luxury,— so  it  might  become  the 
same  some  day  with  buying  and  selling.     Condi- 
tions of  society  are  imaginable  in  which  there  will 
be  no  selling  and  buying,  and  in  which  the  necessity 
for  this  art  will  become  quite  lost ;  perhaps  it  may 
then  happen  that  individuals  who  are  less  subjected 
to  the  law  of  the  prevailing  condition  of  things 
will  indulge  in  buying  and  selling  as  a  luxury  of 
sentiment.     It  is  then  only  that  commerce  would 
acquire  nobility,  and  the  noble  would  then  perhaps 
occupy  themselves  just  as  readily  with  commerce 
as  they  have  done  hitherto  with  war  and  politics : 
while  on  the  other  hand  the  valuation  of  politics 
might  then  have  entirely  altered.     Already  even 
politics  ceases  to  be  the  business  of  a  gentleman  ; 
and  it  is  possible  that  one  day  it  may  be  found 
to  be  so  vulgar  as  to  be  brought,  like  all  party 
literature  and  daily  literature,   under  the  rubric  : 
"  Prostitution  of  the  intellect." 



Undesirable  Disciples. — What  shall  I  do  with 
these  two  youths!  called  out  a  philosopher 
dejectedly,  who  "corrupted"  youths,  as  Socrates 
had  once  corrupted  them, — they  are  unwelcome 
disciples  to  me.  One  of  them  cannot  say  "  Nay," 
and  the  other  says  "  Half  and  half"  to  everything. 
Provided  they  grasped  my  doctrine,  the  former 
would  suffer  too  much,  for  my  mode  of  thinking 
requires  a  martial  soul,  willingness  to  cause  pain, 
delight  in  denying,  and  a  hard  skin, — he  would 
succumb  by  open  wounds  and  internal  injuries. 
And  the  other  will  choose  the  mediocre  in  every- 
thing he  represents,  and  thus  make  a  mediocrity 
of  the  whole, — I  should  like  my  enemy  to  have  such 
a  disciple. 


Outside  the  Lecture-room. — "  In  order  to  prove 
that  man  after  all  belongs  to  the  good-natured 
animals,  I  would  remind  you  how  credulous  he 
has  been  for  so  long  a  time.  It  is  now  only, 
quite  late,  and  after  an  immense  self-conquest,  that 
he  has  become  a  distrustful  animal, — yes  !  man  is 
now  more  wicked  than  ever." — I  do  not  understand 
this ;  why  should  man  now  be  more  distrustful  and 
more  wicked? — "Because  now  he  has  science, — 
because  he  needs  to  have  it ! " — 


Historia  abscondita. — Every  great  man  has  a 
power  which   operates   backward ;    all   history  is 


again  placed  on  the  scales  on  his  account,  and  a 
thousand  secrets  of  the  past  crawl  out  of  their 
lurking-places— into  his  sunlight.  There  is  ab- 
solutely no  knowing  what  history  may  be  some 
day  The  past  is  still  perhaps  undiscovered  in 
its  essence!  There  is  yet  so  much  reintrepretmg 
ability  needed  1 


Heresy    and    Witchcraft-lo    think    otherwise 
than  is  customary-that  is  by  no  means  so  much 
the  activity  of  a  better  intellect,  as  the  activity  of 
strong,    wicked    inclinations,— severing,    isolating, 
refractory,  mischief-loving,  malicious   inclinations. 
Heresy  is   the   counterpart   of  witchcraft,  and   is 
certainly  just  as   little   a   merely  harmless  affair, 
or  a  thing  worthy  of  honour  in  itself.     Heretics 
and   sorcerers  are  two  kinds  of  bad  men ;  they 
have  it  in  common  that  they  also  feel  themselves 
wicked;  their  unconquerable  delight  is  to  attack 
and  injure  whatever  rules,-whether  it  be  men  or 
opinions.     The  Reformation,  a  kind  of  duplication 
of  the  spirit  of  the  Middle  Ages  at  a  time  when 
it  had  no  longer  a  good  conscience,  produced  both 
of  these  kinds  of  people  in  the  greatest  profusion. 

Last  Words.-lt  will  be  recollected  that  the 
Emperor  Augustus,  that  terrible  man,  who  had 
himself  as  much  in  his  own  power  and  could 
be  silent  as  well  as  any  wise  Socrates,  became 
indiscreet   about  himself  in  his  last  words;    for 


the  first  time  he  let  his  mask  fall,  when  he  gave  to 
understand  that  he  had  carried  a  mask  and  played 
a  comedy, — he  had  played  the  father  of  his  country 
and  wisdom  on  the  throne  well,  even  to  the  point 
of  illusion  I  Plaudite  amiciy  comoedia  finita  est ! — 
The  thought  of  the  dying  Nero:  qualis  artifex  pereo  ! 
was  also  the  thought  of  the  dying  Augustus : 
histrionic  conceit!  histrionic  loquacity!  And  the 
very  counterpart  to  the  dying  Socrates! — But 
Tiberius  died  silently,  that  most  tortured  of  all 
self-torturers, — he  was  genuine  and  not  a  stage- 
player!  What  may  have  passed  through  his 
head  in  the  end  !  Perhaps  this  :  "  Life  —  that 
is  a  long  death.  I  am  a  fool,  who  shortened  the 
lives  of  so  many !  Was  /  created  for  the  purpose 
of  being  a  benefactor  ?  I  should  have  given  them 
eternal  life :  and  then  I  could  have  seen  them  dying 
eternally.  I  had  such  good  eyes  for  that :  qualis 
spectator  pereo!"  When  he  seemed  once  more 
to  regain  his  powers  after  a  long  death-struggle, 
it  was  considered  advisable  to  smother  him  with 
pillows, — he  died  a  double  death. 

Owingto  three  Errors. — Science  has  been  furthered 
during  recent  centuries,  partly  because  it  was  hoped 
that  God's  goodness  and  wisdom  would  be  best 
understood  therewith  and  thereby — the  principal 
motive  in  the  soul  of  great  Englishmen  (like 
Newton) ;  partly  because  the  absolute  utility  of 
knowledge  was  believed  in,  and  especially  the  most 
intimate  connection  of  morality,  knowledge,  and 
happiness — the  principal  motive  in  the  soul  of  great 


Frenchmen  (like  Voltaire) ;  and  partly  because  it 
was  thought  that  in  science  there  was  something 
unselfish,  harmless,  self-sufficing,  lovable,  and  truly 
innocent  to  be  had,  in  which  the  evil  human 
impulses  did  not  at  all  participate — the  principal 
motive  in  the  soul  of  Spinoza,  who  felt  himself 
divine,  as  a  knowing  being : — it  is  consequently 
owing  to  three  errors  that  science  has  been 


Explosive  People. — When  one  considers  how 
ready  are  the  forces  of  young  men  for  discharge, 
one  does  not  wonder  at  seeing  them  decide  so 
uncritically  and  with  so  little  selection  for  this 
or  that  cause :  that  which  attracts  them  is  the 
sight  of  eagerness  for  a  cause,  as '  it  were  the 
sight  of  the  burning  match — not  the  cause  itself. 
The  more  ingenious  seducers  on  that  account 
operate  by  holding  out  the  prospect  of  an  explosion 
to  such  persons,  and  do  not  urge  their  cause  by 
means  of  reasons ;  these  powder-barrels  are  not 
won  over  by  means  of  reasons ! 

Altered  Taste. — The  alteration  of  the  general 
taste  is  more  important  than  the  alteration  of 
opinions  ;  opinions,  with  all  their  proving,  refuting, 
and  intellectual  masquerade,  are  merely  symptoms 
of  altered  taste,  and  are  certainly  not  what  they 
are  still  so  often  claimed  to  be,  the  causes  of 
the  altered  taste.  How  does  the  general  taste 
alter?     By  the   fact  of  individuals,  the  powerful 


and  influential  persons,  expressing  and  tyrannically 
enforcing  without  any  feeling  of  shame,  their  hoc 
est  ridiculum,  hoc  est  absurdum;  the  decisions,  there- 
fore, of  their  taste  and  their  disrelish  : — they  thereby 
lay  a  constraint  upon  many  people,  out  of  which 
there  gradually  grows  a  habituation  for  still  more, 
and  finally  a  necessity  for  all.  The  fact,  however, 
that  these  individuals  feel  and  "  taste "  differently, 
has  usually  its  origin  in  a  peculiarity  of  their  mode 
of  life,  nourishment,  or  digestion,  perhaps  in  a 
surplus  or  deficiency  of  the  inorganic  salts  in  their 
blood  and  brain,  in  short  in  their  physis ;  they 
have,  however,  the  courage  to  avow  their  physical 
constitution,  and  to  lend  an  ear  even  to  the  most 
delicate  tones  of  its  requirements  :  their  aesthetic 
and  moral  judgments  are  those  "  most  delicate 
tones  "  of  their  physis, 


The  Lack  of  a  noble  Presence. — Soldiers  and  their 
leaders  have  always  a  much  higher  mode  of  com- 
portment toward  one  another  than  workmen  and 
their  employers.  At  present  at  least,  all  militarily 
established  civilisation  still  stands  high  above  all 
so-called  industrial  civilisation;  the  latter,  in  its 
present  form,  is  in  general  the  meanest  mode  of 
existence  that  has  ever  been.  It  is  simply  the 
law  of  necessity  that  operates  here :  people  want 
to  live,  and  have  to  sell  themselves;  but  they 
despise  him  who  exploits  their  necessity  and 
purchases  the  workman.  It  is  curious  that  the 
subjection  to  powerful,  fear-inspiring,  and  even 
dreadful   individuals,  to   tyrants   and    leaders   of 


armies,  is  not  at  all  felt  so  painfully  as  the  sub- 
jection to  such  undistinguished  and  uninteresting 
persons  as  the  captains  of  industry ;   in  the  em- 
ployer the  workman  usually  sees  merely  a  crafty, 
blood-sucking  dog  of  a  man,  speculating  on  every 
necessity,  whose  name,  form,  character,  and  reputa- 
tion are  altogether  indifferent  to  him.     It  is  prob- 
able that  the  manufacturers  and  great  magnates 
of  commerce  have  hitherto  lacked  too  much  all 
those  forms  and  attributes  of  a  superior  race,  which 
alone  make  persons  interesting ;  if  they  had  had 
the  nobility  of  the  nobly-born  in  their  looks  and 
bearing,  there  would  perhaps  have  been  no  socialism 
in  the  masses  of  the  people.     For  these  are  really 
ready  for  slavery  of  every  kind,  provided  that  the 
superior  class  above  them  constantly  shows  itself 
legitimately  superior,  and  born  to  command— by  its 
noble  presence !     The  commonest  man  feels  that 
nobility  is  not  to  be  improvised,  and   that   it   is 
his  part  to  honour  it  as  the  fruit  of  protracted  race- 
culture,— but  the  absence  of  superior  presence,  and 
the  notorious  vulgarity  of  manufacturers  with  red, 
fat  hands,  brings  up  the  thought  to  him  that  it  is 
only  chance  and  fortune  that  has  here  elevated  the 
one  above  the  other;    well  then  — so  he  reasons 
with  himself— let  us  in  our  turn  tempt  chance  and 
fortune !     Let  us  in  our  turn  throw  the  dice !— and 
socialism  commences. 


Against  Remorse.  —  The  thinker  sees  in  his 
own  actions  attempts  and  questionings  to  obtain 
information   about   something   or   other;    success 


and  failure  are  answers  to  him  first  and  foremost. 
To  vex  himself,  however,  because  something  does 
not  succeed,  or  to  feel  remorse  at  all — he  leaves 
that  to  those  who  act  because  they  are  commanded 
to  do  so,  and  expect  to  get  a  beating  when  their 
gracious  master  is  not  satisfied  with  the  result. 


Work  and  Ennui. — In  respect  to  seeking  work 
for  the  sake  of  the  pay,  almost  all  men  are  alike 
at  present  in  civilised  countries  ;  to  all  of  them 
work  is  a  means,  and  not  itself  the  end  ;  on  which 
account  they  are  not  very  select  in  the  choice  of  the 
work,  provided  it  yields  an  abundant  profit.  But 
still  there  are  rarer  men  who  would  rather  perish 
than  work  without  delight  in  their  labour :  the 
fastidious  people,  difficult  to  satisfy,  whose  object 
is  not  served  by  an  abundant  profit,  unless  the  work 
itself  be  the  reward  of  all  rewards.  Artists  and 
contemplative  men  of  all  kinds  belong  to  this  rare 
species  of  human  beings ;  and  also  the  idlers  who 
spend  their  life  in  hunting  and  travelling,  or  in 
love-affairs  and  adventures.  They  all  seek  toil 
and  trouble  in  so  far  as  these  are  associated  with 
pleasure,  and  they  want  the  severest  and  hardest 
labour,  if  it  be  necessary.  In  other  respects,  how- 
ever, they  have  a  resolute  indolence,  even  should 
impoverishment,  dishonour,  and  danger  to  health 
and  life  be  associated  therewith.  They  are  not  so 
much  afraid  of  ennui  as  of  labour  without  pleasure  ; 
indeed  they  require  much  ennui,  if  their  work  is  to 
succeed  with  them.  For  the  thinker  and  for  all 
inventive  spirits  ennui  is  the  unpleasant  "calm" 

8q  the  joyful  wisdom,  I 

of  the  soul  which  precedes  the  happy  voyage  and 
the  dancing  breezes  ;  he  must  endure  it,  he  must 
await  the  effect  it  has  on  him  :— it  is  precisely  this 
which  lesser  natures  cannot  at  all  experience !  It 
is  common  to  scare  away  ennui  in  every  way,  just 
as  it  is  common  to  labour  without  pleasure.  It 
perhaps  distinguishes  the  Asiatics  above  the  Euro- 
peans, that  they  are  capable  of  a  longer  and  pro- 
founder  repose  ;  even  their  narcotics  operate  slowly 
and  require  patience,  in  contrast  to  the  obnoxious 
suddenness  of  the  European  poison,  alcohol. 

What  the  Laws  Betray.— On&  makes  a  great  mis- 
take when  one  studies  the  penal  laws  of  a  people, 
as  if  they  were  an  expression  of  its  character  ;  the 
laws  do  not  betray  what   a  people  is,  but  what 
appears  to  them  foreign,  strange,  monstrous,  and 
outlandish.     The  laws  concern  themselves  with  the 
exceptions  to  the  morality  of  custom  ;    and   the 
severest  punishments  fall  on  acts  which  conform  to 
the  customs  of  the  neighbouring  peoples.     Thus 
among  the  Wahabites,  there  are  only  two  mortal  sms : 
having  another  God  than  the  Wahabite  God,  and— 
smoking  (it  is  designated  by  them  as  "the  disgraceful 
kind  of  drinking").     "And  how  is  it  with  regard 
to  murder  and  adultery  ?  "-asked  the  Englishman 
with  astonishment  on  learning  these  thmgs.       Wei, 
God  is  gracious  and  pitiful!"   answered  the  old 
chief —Thus  among  the  ancient  Romans  there  was 
the  idea  that  a  woman  could  only  sin  mortally  in 
two  ways  :  by  adultery  on  the  one  hand,  and— by 
wine-drinking  on  the  other.     Old  Cato  pretended 


that  kissing  among  relatives  had  only  been  made 
a  custom  in  order  to  keep  women  in  control  on  this 
point ;  a  kiss  meant :  did  her  breath  smell  of  wine  ? 
Wives  had  actually  been  punished  by  death  who 
were  surprised  taking  wine :  and  certainly  not 
merely  because  women  under  the  influence  of  wine 
sometimes  unlearn  altogether  the  art  of  saying  No ; 
the  Romans  were  afraid  above  all  things  of  the  orgi- 
astic and  Dionysian  spirit  with  which  the  women 
of  Southern  Europe  at  that  time  (when  wine 
was  still  new  in  Europe)  were  sometimes  visited, 
as  by  a  monstrous  foreignness  which  subverted 
the  basis  of  Roman  sentiments;  it  seemed  to 
them  treason  against  Rome,  as  the  embodiment 
of  foreignness. 


The  Believed  Motive. — However  important  it  may 
be  to  know  the  motives  according  to  which  man- 
kind has  really  acted  hitherto,  perhaps  the  belief 
in  this  or  that  motive,  and  therefore  that  which 
mankind  has  assumed  and  imagined  to  be  the 
actual  mainspring  of  its  activity  hitherto,  is  some- 
thing still  more  essential  for  the  thinker  to  know. 
For  the  internal  happiness  and  misery  of  men 
have  always  come  to  them  through  their  belief  in 
this  or  that  motive, — not  however,  through  that 
which  was  actually  the  motive!  All  about  the 
latter  has  an  interest  of  secondary  rank. 

Epicurus, — Yes,  I   am  proud  of  perceiving  the 
character  of  Epicurus  differently  from  anyone  else 


perhaps,  and  of  enjoying  the  happiness  of  the 
afternoon  of  antiquity  in  all  that  I  hear  and  read 
of  him:— I  see  his  eye  gazing  out  on  a  broad 
whitish  sea,  over  the  shore-rocks  on  which  the 
sunshine  rests,  while  great  and  small  creatures  play 
in  its  light,  secure  and  calm  like  this  light  and  that 
eye  itself.  Such  happiness  could  only  have  been 
devised  by  a  chronic  sufferer,  the  happiness  of  an 
eye  before  which  the  sea  of  existence  has  become 
calm,  and  which  can  no  longer  tire  of  gazing  at  the 
surface  and  at  the  variegated,  tender,  tremulous 
skin  of  this  sea.  Never  previously  was  there  such  a 
moderation  of  voluptuousness. 

Our  Astonishment— There  is   a   profound  and 
fundamental  satisfaction  in  the  fact  that  science 
ascertains  things  that  hold  their  ground,  and  again 
furnish   the   basis   for   new  researches :— it   could 
certainly  be  otherwise.      Indeed,  we  are  so  much 
convinced  of  all  the  uncertainty  and  caprice  of  our 
judgments,  and  of  the  everlasting  change  of  all 
human  laws  and  conceptions,  that   we  are  really 
astonished   how  persistently  the  results  of  science 
hold  their  ground  !     In  earlier  times  people  knew 
nothing  of  this  changeability  of  all  human  things  ; 
the  custom  of  morality  maintained  the  belief  that 
the  whole  inner  life  of  man  was  bound  to  iron 
necessity  by  eternal  fetters :— perhaps  people  then 
felt  a  similar  voluptuousness  of  astonishment  when 
they  listened    to    tales   and    fairy  stories.      The 
wonderful  did  so  much  good  to  those  men,  who 
might  well  get  tired  sometimes  of  the  regular  and 


the  eternal.  To  leave  the  ground  for  once  1  To 
soar !  To  stray !  To  be  mad  ! — that  belonged  to 
the  paradise  and  the  revelry  of  earlier  times  ;  while 
our  felicity  is  like  that  of  the  shipwrecked  man 
who  has  gone  ashore,  and  places  himself  with  both 
feet  on  the  old,  firm  ground — in  astonishment  that 
it  does  not  rock. 

The  Suppression  of  the  Passions. — When  one 
continually  prohibits  the  expression  of  the  passions 
as  something  to  be  left  to  the  "  vulgar,"  to  coarser, 
bourgeois,  and  peasant  natures — that  is,  when  one 
does  not  want  to  suppress  the  passions  themselves, 
but  only  their  language  and  demeanour,  one  never- 
theless realises  therewith  just  what  one  does  not 
want :  the  suppression  of  the  passions  themselves, 
or  at  least  their  weakening  and  alteration, — as  the 
court  of  Louis  XIV.  (to  cite  the  most  instructive 
instance),  and  all  that  was  dependent  on  it,  ex- 
perienced. The  generation  that  followed^  trained 
in  suppressing  their  expression,  no  longer  pos- 
sessed the  passions  themselves,  but  had  a  pleasant, 
superficial,  playful  disposition  in  their  place, — 
a  generation  which  was  so  permeated  with  the 
incapacity  to  be  ill-mannered,  that  even  an  injury 
was  not  taken  and  retaliated,  except  with  court- 
eous words.  Perhaps  our  own  time  furnishes 
the  most  remarkable  counterpart  to  this  period : 
I  see  everywhere  (in  life,  in  the  theatre,  and  not 
least  in  all  that  is  written)  satisfaction  at  all  the 
coarser  outbursts  and  gestures  of  passion  ;  a  certain 
convention   of   passionateness   is    now  desired, — 


only  not  the  passion  itself!     Nevertheless  //  will 
thereby  be  at  last  reached,  and  our  posterity  wil 
have  a  genuine  savagery,^  and  not  merely  a  formal 
savagery  and  unmannerliness. 

Knowledge  of  Distress. -Vexh^ps  there  is  nothing 
by  which  men  and  periods  are  so  much  separated 
from  one  another,  as  by  the  different  degrees  of 
knowledge  of  distress  which  they  possess ;  distress 
of  the  soul  as  well  as  of  the  body.     With  respect 
to    the   latter,  owing    to    lack   of   sufficient   self- 
experience,  we  men  of  the  present  day  (in  spite 
of  our  deficiencies  and  infirmities),  are  perhaps  all 
of  us   blunderers   and   visionaries   in   comparison 
with  the   men   of  the  age  of  fear -the  longest 
of  all   ages,— when   the   individual   had   to   pro- 
tect himself  against  violence,  and  for  that  purpose 
had  to  be  a  man  of  violence  himself     At  that  time 
a  man  went  through  a  long  schooling  of  corporeal 
tortures  and  privations,  and  found  even  in  a  certain 
kind  of  cruelty  toward  himself,  in  a  voluntary  use 
of  pain,  a   necessary  means  for  his  preservation; 
at  that  time  a  person  trained  his  environment  to 
the   endurance  of  pain;   at   that   time   a   Pe^^ori 
willingly  inflicted  pain,  and  saw  the  most  frightful 
things   of  this    kind    happen    to    others,  without 
having    any    other    feeling    than    for    his    own 
security.     As   regards   the   distress    of    the    soul 
however,  I  now  look  at  every  man  with   respect 
to   whether   he   knows   it    by  experience    or    by 
description  ;  whether  he  still  regards  it  as  necessary 
to  simulate  this  knowledge,  perhaps  as  an  indica- 


tion  of  more  refined  culture ;  or  whether,  at  the 
bottom  of  his  heart,  he  does  not  at  all  believe 
in  great  sorrows  of  soul,  and  at  the  naming  of 
them  calls  to  mind  a  similar  experience  as  at  the 
naming  of  great  corporeal  sufferings,  such  as  tooth- 
aches, and  stomach-aches.  It  is  thus,  however, 
that  it  seems  to  be  with  most  people  at  present. 
Owing  to  the  universal  inexperience  of  both  kinds 
of  pain,  and  the  comparative  rarity  of  the  spectacle 
of  a  sufferer,  an  important  consequence  results : 
people  now  hate  pain  far  more  than  earlier  man 
did,  and  calumniate  it  worse  than  ever ;  indeed 
people  nowadays  can  hardly  endure  the  thought 
of  pain,  and  make  out  of  it  an  affair  of  con- 
science and  a  reproach  to  collective  existence. 
The  appearance  of  pessimistic  philosophies  is 
not  at  all  the  sign  of  great  and  dreadful  miseries; 
for  these  interrogative  marks  regarding  the  worth 
of  life  appear  in  periods  when  the  refinement 
and  alleviation  of  existence  already  deem  the 
unavoidable  gnat-stings  of  the  soul  and  body 
as  altogether  too  bloody  and  wicked ;  and  in  the 
poverty  of  actual  experiences  of  pain,  would  now 
like  to  make  painful  general  ideas  appear  as 
suffering  of  the  worst  kind. — There  might  indeed 
be  a  remedy  for  pessimistic  philosophies  and 
the  excessive  sensibility  which  seems  to  me  the 
real  "  distress  of  the  present "  : — but  perhaps  this 
remedy  already  sounds  too  cruel,  and  would  itself 
be  reckoned  among  the  symptoms  owing  to  which 
people  at  present  conclude  that "  existence  is  some- 
thing evil."  Well  1  the  remedy  for  "  the  distress  " 
is  distress. 


Magnanimity  and  allied  e»«««^.-Those  para- 
doxicfl  phenomena,  such  as  the  sudden  coldness 
in  the  demeanour  of  good-natured  men,  the  humour 
of  the  melancholy,  and  above  all  magnantm.ty.^s 
a  sudden  renunciation  of  revenge  or  of  the  grat  - 
fication  of  envy-appear  in  men  m  whom  'here  .s 
a  powerful  inner  impulsiveness,  m  men  of  sudden 
satiety  and  sudden  disgust.    Their  satisfactions  are 
so  rapid   and  violent  that  satiety,  aversion    and 
Hight  into  the  antithetical  taste,  immediately  follow 
upon  them :    in  this  contrast  the  convulsion  of 
filing  liberates  itself,  in  one  person  by  sudden 
coldness,  in  another  by  laughter,  and  in  a  third 
by    tear;   and    self-sacrifice.      The    -"-g"^"™"";, 
irson    appears   to    me-at    least    that    kmd    of 
maranir^ous  person  who  has  always  made  most 
tapression-as  a  man  with  the  strongest  thirst  for 
vengeance,  to  whom  a  gratification  P«=«f '^^'^ 
cJe  at  hand,  and  who  already  drinks  it  off  .« 
imagination  so  copiously,  thoroughly,  and  to  the 
last  drop,  that  an  excessive,  rapid  disgust  follows 
this  rapid  licentiousness  ;-he  now  elevates  himself 
'abJve'himself."  as   one   says,  and   forgiv^  his 
enemy,  yea,  blesses  and  honours  him.     With  this 
vXce  done  to  himself,  however,  with  this  mockery 
of  his  impulse  to  revenge,  even  still  so  powerM 
he  merely  yields  to  the  new  impulse,  the  disgust 
whi"h  ha's  become   powerful,  and  does  this  jus 
as  impatiently  and   licentiously,  as  a  short  time 
previously  ^forestalled,  and  as  it  were  exhausted 
the]oy  of  revenge  with  his  fantasy.    In  magnanimity 


there  is  the  same  amount  of  egoism  as  in  revenge, 
but  a  different  quality  of  egoism. 


The  Argument  of  Isolation. — The  reproach  of 
conscience,  even  in  the  most  conscientious,  is  weak 
against  the  feeling:  "This  and  that  are  contrary 
to  the  good  morals  oi your  society."  A  cold  glance 
or  a  wry  mouth  on  the  part  of  those  among  whom 
and  for  whom  one  has  been  educated,  is  sWW  feared 
even  by  the  strongest.  What  is  really  feared  there  ? 
Isolation  \  as  the  argument  which  demolishes  even 
the  best  arguments  for  a  person  or  cause! — It  is 
thus  that  the  gregarious  instinct  speaks  in  us. 


Sense  for  Truth. — Commend  me  to  all  scepticism 
where  I  am  permitted  to  answer :  "  Let  us  put  it  to 
the  test ! "  But  I  don't  wish  to  hear  anything  more 
of  things  and  questions  which  do  not  admit  of  being 
tested.  That  is  the  limit  of  my  "  sense  for  truth  "  : 
for  bravery  has  there  lost  its  right. 

What  others  Know  of  «j.— That  which  we  know 
of  ourselves  and  have  in  our  memory  is  not  so 
decisive  for  the  happiness  of  our  life  as  is  generally 
believed.  One  day  it  flashes  upon  our  mind  what 
others  know  of  us  (or  think  they  know)— and  then 
we  acknowledge  that  it  is  the  more  powerful.  We 
get  on  with  our  bad  conscience  more  easily  than 
with  our  bad  reputation. 


Where  Goodness  Begins. — Where  bad  eyesight  can 
no  longer  see  the  evil  impulse  as  such,  on  account 
of  its  refinement,— there  man  sets  up  the  kingdom 
of  goodness  ;  and  the  feeling  of  having  now  gone 
over  into  the  kingdom  of  goodness  brings  all  those 
impulses  (such  as  the  feelings  of  security,  of  com- 
fortableness, of  benevolence)  into  simultaneous 
activity,  which  were  threatened  and  confined  by 
the  evil  impulses.  Consequently,  the  duller  the  eye 
so  much  the  further  does  goodness  extend  !  Hence 
the  eternal  cheerfulness  of  the  populace  and  of 
children  !  Hence  the  gloominess  and  grief  (allied 
to  the  bad  conscience)  of  great  thinkers. 

The  Consciousness  of  Appearance. — How  won- 
derfully and  novelly,  and  at  the  same  time  how 
awfully  and  ironically,  do  I  feel  myself  situated 
with  respect  to  collective  existence,  with  my  know- 
ledge !  I  have  discovered  for  myself  that  the  old 
humanity  and  animality,  yea,  the  collective  primeval 
age,  and  the  past  of  all  sentient  being,  continues  to 
meditate,  love,  hate,  and  reason  in  me,— I  have 
suddenly  awoke  in  the  midst  of  this  dream,  but 
merely  to  the  consciousness  that  I  just  dream,  and 
that  I  must  dream  on  in  order  not  to  perish ;  just 
as  the  sleep-walker  must  dream  on  in  order  not  to 
tumble  down.  What  is  it  that  is  now  "appear- 
ance" to  me!  Verily,  not  the  antithesis  of  any 
kind  of  essence,— what  knowledge  can  I  assert  of 
any  kind  of  essence  whatsoever,  except  merely  the 


predicates  of  its  appearance !  Verily  not  a  dead 
mask  which  one  could  put  upon  an  unknown  X, 
and  which  to  be  sure  one  could  also  remove ! 
Appearance  is  for  me  the  operating  and  living 
thing  itself;  which  goes  so  far  in  its  self-mockery 
as  to  make  me  feel  that  here  there  is  appearance, 
and  Will  o'  the  Wisp,  and  spirit-dance,  and  nothing 
more, — that  among  all  these  dreamers,  I  also,  the 
"thinker,"  dance  my  dance,  that  the  thinker 
is  a  means  of  prolonging  further  the  terrestrial 
dance,  and  in  so  far  is  one  of  the  masters  of 
ceremony  of  existence,  and  that  the  sublime  con- 
sistency and  connectedness  of  all  branches  of 
knowledge  is  perhaps,  and  will  perhaps,  be  the 
best  means  for  maintaining  the  universality  of  the 
dreaming,  the  complete,  mutual  understandability 
of  all  those  dreamers,  and  thereby  tha  duration  of 
the  dream. 


The  Ultimate  Nobility  of  Character. — What  then 
makes  a  person  "  noble  "  ?  Certainly  not  that  he 
makes  sacrifices  ;  even  the  frantic  libertine  makes 
sacrifices.  Certainly  not  that  he  generally  follows 
his  passions ;  there  are  contemptible  passions. 
Certainly  not  that  he  does  something  for  others, 
and  without  selfishness ;  perhaps  the  effect  of 
selfishness  is  precisely  at  its  greatest  in  the 
noblest  persons. — But  that  the  passion  which 
seizes  the  noble  man  is  a  peculiarity,  without  his 
knowing  that  it  is  so:  the  use  of  a  rare  and 
singular  measuring-rod,  almost  a  frenzy :  the  feel- 
ing of  heat  in  things  which  feel  cold  to  all  othqr 


persons  :  a  divining  of  values  for  which  scales  have 
not  yet  been  invented  :  a  sacrificing  on  altars  which 
are  consecrated  to  an  unknown  God :   a   bravery 
without  the  desire  for  honour:    a   self-sufficiency 
which  has  superabundance,  and  imparts  to  men  and 
things.     Hitherto,  therefore,  it  has  been  the  rare 
in  man,  and  the  unconsciousness  of  this  rareness, 
that  has  made  men  noble.     Here,  however,  let  us 
consider  that  everything  ordinary,  immediate,  and 
indispensable,  in   short,  what  has  been  most  pre- 
servative of  the  species,  and  generally  the  rulem 
mankind   hitherto,  has  been  judged  unreasonable 
and  calumniated  in  its  entirety  by  this  standard, 
in   favour    of    the    exceptions.      To   become   the 
advocate   of  the   rule-that   may  P^^haps  be  the 
ultimate  form  and  refinement  in  which  nobility  of 
character  will  reveal  itself  on  earth. 

The  Desire  for  Suffering.-V^h^v^  I  think  of  the 
desire  to  do  something,  how  it  continually  tickles 
and  stimulates  millions  of  young  Europeans,  who 
cannot  endure  themselves  and  all  their  ennui.- 
I  conceive  that  there  must  be  a  desire  in  them  to 
suffer   something,  in   order   to   derive   from   their 
suffering   a  worthy  motive   for  acting,  for  doing 
something.    Distress  is  necessary  !     Hence  the  cry 
of  the  politicians,  hence  the  many  false  trumped- 
up,  exaggerated  "states  of  distress"  of  all  possible 
kinds,  and  the  blind  readiness  to  believe  in  them 
This  young  world  desires  that  there  should  arrive 
or  appear  from   the  outside-not  happmess-but 
misfortune;    and    their    imagination    is    already 


busy  beforehand  to  form  a  monster  out  of  it,  so 
that  they  may  afterwards  be  able  to  fight  with  a 
monster.  If  these  distress-seekers  felt  the  power 
to  benefit  themselves,  to  do  something  for  themselves 
from  internal  sources,  they  would  also  understand 
how  to  create  a  distress  of  their  own,  specially  their 
own,  from  internal  sources.  Their  inventions  might 
then  be  more  refined,  and  their  gratifications  might 
sound  like  good  music :  while  at  present  they  fill 
the  world  with  their  cries  of  distress,  and  conse- 
quently too  often  with  the  feeling  of  distress  in 
the  first  place  1  They  do  not  know  what  to  make 
of  themselves — and  so  they  paint  the  misfortune  of 
others  on  the  wall ;  they  always  need  others ! 
And  always  again  other  others ! — Pardon  me,  my 
friends,  I  have  ventured  to  paint  my  happiness  on 
the  wall. 



To  the  Realists. — Ye  sober  beings,  who  feel  your- 
selves armed  against  passion  and  fantasy,  and 
would  gladly  make  a  pride  and  an  ornament  out 
of  your  emptiness,  ye  call  yourselves  realists,  and 
give  to  understand  that  the  world  is  actually 
constituted  as  it  appears  to  you  ;  before  you  alone 
reality  stands  unveiled,  and  ye  yourselves  would 
perhaps  be  the  best  part  of  it, — oh,  ye  dear  images 
of  Sais!  But  are  not  ye  also  in  your  unveiled 
condition  still  extremely  passionate  and  dusky 
beings  compared  with  the  fish,  and  still  all  too  like 
an  enamoured  artist  ?  * — and  what  is  "  reality  "  to 
an  enamoured  artist!  Ye  still  carry  about  with 
you  the  valuations  of  things  which  had  their  origin 
in  the  passions  and  infatuations  of  earlier  centuries ! 
There  is  still  a  secret  and  ineffaceable  drunken- 
ness embodied  in  your  sobriety!  Your  love  of 
"  reality,"  for  example— oh,  that  is  an  old,  primitive 
"  love  " !  In  every  feeling,  in  every  sense-impres- 
sion, there  is  a  portion  of  this  old  love:  and 
similariy  also  some  kind  of  fantasy,  prejudice, 
irrationality,  ignorance,  fear,  and  whatever  else 
has  become  mingled  and  woven  into  it.  There 
is  that  mountain !      There  is  that  cloud  !     What 

*  Schiller's  poem,  "The  Veiled  Image  oi  Sais,"  is  again 
referred  to  here. — Tr. 



is  "  real "  in  them  ?  Remove  the  phantasm  and 
the  whole  human  element  therefrom,  ye  sober 
ones!  Yes,  if  ye  could  do  that!  If  ye  could 
forget  your  origin,  your  past,  your  preparatory 
schooling, — your  whole  history  as  man  and  beast ! 
There  is  no  "  reality  "  for  us — nor  for  you  either,  ye 
sober  ones, — we  are  far  from  being  so  alien  to  one 
another  as  ye  suppose  ;  and  perhaps  our  good-will 
to  get  beyond  drunkenness  is  just  as  respectable 
as  your  belief  that  ye  are  altogether  incapable  of 


Only  as  Creators  ! — It  has  caused  me  the  greatest 
trouble,  and  for  ever  causes  me  the  greatest  trouble, 
to  perceive  that  unspeakably  more  depends  upon 
what  things  are  called,  than  on  what  they  are. 
The  reputation,  the  name  and  appearance,  the 
importance,  the  usual  measure  and  weight  of 
things  —  each  being  in  origin  most  frequently 
an  error  and  arbitrariness  thrown  over  the  things 
like  a  garment,  and  quite  alien  to  their  essence  and 
even  to  their  exterior — have  gradually,  by  the 
belief  therein  and  its  continuous  growth  from 
generation  to  generation,  grown  as  it  were  on- 
and-into  things  and  become  their  very  body  ;  the 
appearance  at  the  very  beginning  becomes  almost 
always  the  essence  in  the  end,  and  operates 
as  the  essence!  What  a  fool  he  would  be  who 
would  think  it  enough  to  refer  here  to  this 
origin  and  this  nebulous  veil  of  illusion,  in  order 
to  annihilate  that  which  virtually  passes  for  the 
world— namely,  so-called  "  reality  "  1     It  is  only  as 


creators  that  we  can  annihilate! — But  let  us  not 
forget  this  :  it  suffices  to  create  new  names  and 
valuations  and  probabilities,  in  order  in  the  long 
run  to  create  new  "  things." 


We  Artists! — When  we  love  a  woman  we  have 
readily  a  hatred  against  nature,  on  recollecting  all 
the  disagreeable  natural  functions  to  which  every 
woman  is  subject ;  we  prefer  not  to  think  of 
them  at  all,  but  if  once  our  soul  touches  on 
these  things  it  twitches  impatiently,  and  glances, 
as  we  have  said,  contemptuously  at  nature  : — 
we  are  hurt;  nature  seems  to  encroach  upon 
our  possessions,  and  with  the  profanest  hands. 
We  then  shut  our  ears  against  all  physiology,  and 
we  decree  in  secret  that  "we  will  hear  nothing 
of  the  fact  that  man  is  something  else  than 
soul  and  form!"  "The  man  under  the  skin"  is 
an  abomination  and  monstrosity,  a  blasphemy  of 
God  and  of  love  to  all  lovers. — Well,  just  as  the 
lover  still  feels  with  respect  to  nature  and  natural 
functions,  so  did  every  worshipper  of  God  and  his 
"  holy  omnipotence  "  feel  formerly  :  in  all  that  was 
said  of  nature  by  astronomers,  geologists,  physiolo- 
gists, and  physicians,  he  saw  an  encroachment  on 
his  most  precious  possession,  and  consequently  an 
attack,  —  and  moreover  also  an  impertinence  of 
the  assailant!  The  "law  of  nature"  sounded  to 
him  as  blasphemy  against  God  ;  in  truth  he  would 
too  willingly  have  seen  the  whole  of  mechanics 
traced  back  to  moral  acts  of  volition  and  arbitrari- 


ness : — but  because  nobody  could  render  him  this 
service,  he  concealed  nature  and  mechanism  from 
himself  as  best  he  could,  and  lived  in  a  dream. 
Oh,  those  men  of  former  times  understood  how  to 

dream,  and  did  not  need  first  to  go  to  sleep ! and 

we  men  of  the  present  day  also  still  understand 
it  too  well,  with  all  our  good-will  for  wakefulness 
and  daylight!  It  suffices  to  love,  to  hate,  to 
desire,  and  in  general  to  feel, — immediately  the 
spirit  and  the  power  of  the  dream  come  over  us, 
and  we  ascend,  with  open  eyes  and  indifferent 
to  all  danger,  the  most  dangerous  paths,  to  the 
roofs  and  towers  of  fantasy,  and  without  any 
giddiness,  as  persons  born  for  climbing — we  the 
night-walkers  by  day!  We  artists!  We  con- 
cealers of  naturalness  !  We  moon-struck  and  God- 
struck  ones  !  We  death-silent,  untiring  wanderers 
on  heights  which  we  do  not  see  as  heights,  but  as 
our  plains,  as  our  places  of  safety  ! 


Women  and  their  Effect  in  the  Distance. — Have 
I  still  ears?  Am  I  only  ear,  and  nothing  else 
besides?  Here  I  stand  in  the  midst  of  the 
surging  of  the  breakers,  whose  white  flames  fork 
up  to  my  feet; — from  all  sides  there  is  howling, 
threatening,  crying,  and  screaming  at  me,  while  in 
the  lowest  depths  the  old  earth-shaker  sings  his  ari  a 
hollow  like  a  roaring  bull ;  he  beats  such  an  earth-' 
shaker's  measure  thereto,  that  even  the  hearts  of 
these  weathered  rock-monsters  tremble  at  the 
sound.     Then,  suddenly,  as  if  born  out  of  nothing- 


ness,  there  appears  before  the  portal  of  this  hellish 
labyrinth,  only  a  few  fathoms  distant, — a  great 
sailing-ship  gliding  silently  along  like  a  ghost. 
Oh,  this  ghostly  beauty !  With  what  enchantment 
it  seizes  me!  What?  Has  all  the  repose  and 
silence  in  the  world  embarked  here?  Does  my 
happiness  itself  sit  in  this  quiet  place,  my  happier 
ego,  my  second  immortalised  self?  Still  not 
dead,  but  also  no  longer  living  ?  As  a  ghost-like, 
calm,  gazing,  gliding,  sweeping,  neutral  being? 
Similar  to  the  ship,  which,  with  its  white  sails,  like 
an  immense  butterfly,  passes  over  the  dark  sea! 
Yes  !     Passing  over  existence !     That  is  it !     That 

would  be  it ! It  seems  that  the  noise  here  has 

made  me  a  visionary  ?  All  great  noise  causes  one 
to  place  happiness  in  the  calm  and  the  distance. 
When  a  man  is  in  the  midst  of  his  hubbub,  in  the 
midst  of  the  breakers  of  his  plots  and  plans, 
he  there  sees  perhaps  calm,  enchanting  beings 
glide  past  him,  for  whose  happiness  and  retirement 
he  longs — they  are  women.  He  almost  thinks  that 
there  with  the  women  dwells  his  better  self ;  that 
in  these  calm  places  even  the  loudest  breakers 
become  still  as  death,  and  life  itself  a  dream  of  life. 
But  still !  but  still !  my  noble  enthusiast,  there 
is  also  in  the  most  beautiful  sailing-ship  so  much 
noise  and  bustling,  and  alas,  so  much  petty,  piti- 
able bustling !  The  enchantment  and  the  most 
powerful  effect  of  women  is,  to  use  the  language 
of  philosophers,  an  effect  at  a  distance,  an  actio  in 
distans ;  there  belongs  thereto,  however,  primarily 
and  above  all, — distance  ! 



In  Honour  of  Friendship.— Thdl  the  sentiment 
of  friendship  was  regarded  by  antiquity  as  the 
highest  sentiment,  higher  even  than  the  most 
vaunted  pride  of  the  self-sufficient  and  wise,  yea,  as 
it  were  its  sole  and  still  holier  brotherhood,  is 
very  well  expressed  by  the  story  of  the  Macedonian 
king  who  made  the  present  of  a  talent  to  a  cynical 
Athenian  philosopher  from  whom  he  received  it 
back  again.  "What?"  said  the  king,  "has  he  then 
no  friend  ?  "  He  therewith  meant  to  say, "  I  honour 
this  pride  of  the  wise  and  independent  man,  but 
I  should  have  honoured  his  humanity  still  higher, 
if  the  friend  in  him  had  gained  the  victory  over  his 
pride.  The  philosopher  has  lowered  himself  in  my 
estimation,  for  he  showed  that  he  did  not  know 

one  of  the  two  highest  sentiments— and  in  fact  the 

higher  of  them  ! " 

Love.— LovQ  pardons  even  the  passion  of  the 


Woman   in  Music— Uow  does  it  happen  that 

warm  and  rainy  winds  bring  the   musical  mood 

and  the  inventive  delight  in  melody  with  them  ? 

Are  they  not  the  same  winds  that  fill  the  churches 

and  give  women  amorous  thoughts  ? 

Sceptics.— I  fear  that  women  who  have  grown  old 
are  more  sceptical  in  the  secret  recesses  of  their 


hearts  than  any  of  the  men  ;  they  believe  in  the 
superficiality  of  existence  as  in  its  essence,  and 
all  virtue  and  profundity  is  to  them  only  the  dis- 
guising of  this  "  truth,"  the  very  desirable  disguising 
of  a  pudendum,— 2.n  affair,  therefore,  of  decency 
and  modesty,  and  nothing  more  I 

Devotedness. — There  are  noble  women  with  a 
certain  poverty  of  spirit,  who,  in  order  to  express 
their  profoundest  devotedness,  have  no  other  alter- 
native but  to  offer  their  virtue  and  modesty :  it  is 
the  highest  thing  they  have.  And  this  present 
is  often  accepted  without  putting  the  recipient 
under  such  deep  obligation  as  the  giver  supposed, 
— a  very  melancholy  story  ! 

The  Strength  of  the  M^^<2/^.— Women  are  all  skil- 
ful in  exaggerating  their  weaknesses,  indeed  they  are 
inventive  in  weaknesses,  so  as  to  seem  quite  fragile 
ornaments  to  which  even  a  grain  of  dust  does 
harm  ;  their  existence  is  meant  to  bring  home  to 
man's  mind  his  coarseness,  and  to  appeal  to  his 
conscience.  They  thus  defend  themselves  against 
the  strong  and  all  "  rights  of  might." 


Self -dissembling. — She  loves  him  now  and  has 
since  been  looking  forth  with  as  quiet  confidence 
as  a  cow ;  but  alas !  It  was  precisely  his  delight 
that  she  seemed  so  fitful  and  absolutely  incompre- 
hensible !     He  had  rather  too  much  steady  weather 


in  himself  already!  Would  she  not  do  well  to 
feign  her  old  character?  to  feign  indifference? 
Does  not— love  itself  advise  her  to  do  so?  Vivat 
comoedia  ! 


Will  and    Willingness. —Some    one    brought  a 
youth  to  a  wise  man,  and  said,  "  See,  this  is  one 
who  is  being  corrupted  by  women!"     The  wise 
man  shook  his  head  and  smiled.     "  It  is  men,"  he 
called  out,  "who  corrupt  women;  and  everything 
that  women  lack  should  be  atoned  for  and  improved 
in  men,— for  man  creates  for  himself  the  ideal  of 
woman,  and  woman  moulds  herself  according  to 
this  ideal."—"  You  are  too  tender-hearted  towards 
women,"  said  one  of  the  bystanders,  "  you  do  not 
know  them  ! "     The  wise  man  answered  :  "  Man's 
attribute  is  will,  woman's  attribute  is  willingness,— 
such  is  the  law  of  the  sexes,  verily  1  a  hard  law  for 
woman !     All  human  beings  are  innocent  of  their 
existence,  women,  however,  are  doubly  innocent; 
who  could  have  enough  of  salve  and  gentleness  for 
them  !  "—"What  about  salve !    What  about  gentle- 
ness !  "  called  out  another  person  in  the  crowd,  "  we 
must  educate  women  better ! "— "  We  must  educate 
men  better,"  said  the  wise  man,  and  made  a  sign 
to  the  youth  to  follow  him.— The  youth,  however, 
did  not  follow  him. 


Capacity  for  Revenge.— Th?^  a  person  cannot 
and  consequently  will  not  defend  himself,  does 
not  yet  cast  disgrace  upon  him  in  our  eyes ;  but 


we  despise  the  person  who  has  neither  the  ability 
nor  the  good-will  for  revenge  —  whether  it  be 
a  man  or  a  woman.  Would  a  woman  be  able 
to  captivate  us  (or,  as  people  say,  to  "fetter" 
us)  whom  we  did  not  credit  with  knowing  how 
to  employ  the  dagger  (any  kind  of  dagger) 
skilfully  against  us  under  certain  circumstances? 
Or  against  herself;  which  in  a  certain  case  might 
be  the  severest  revenge  (the  Chinese  revenge). 


The  Mistresses  oj  the  Masters. — A  powerful  con- 
tralto  voice,   as  we   occasionally  hear   it  in   the 
theatre,   raises    suddenly   for    us    the    curtain    on 
possibilities  in  which  we  usually  do  not  believe ; 
all  at  once  we  are  convinced  that  somewhere  in  the 
world  there  may  be  women  with  high,  heroic,  royal 
souls,  capable  and  prepared  for  magnificent  remon- 
strances, resolutions,  and  self-sacrifices,  capable  and 
prepared  for   domination    over   men,   because    in 
them  the  best  in  man,  superior  to  sex,  has  become 
a  corporeal  ideal.     To  be  sure,  it  is  not  the  inten- 
tion of  the  theatre  that  such  voices  should  give 
such   a   conception  of  women  ;    they  are  usually 
intended     to     represent    the    ideal     male    lover, 
for    example,   a    Romeo ;    but,   to  judge    by  my 
experience,  the  theatre  regularly  miscalculates  here, 
and  the  musician  also,  who  expects  such  effects 
from  such  a  voice.     People  do  not  believe  in  these 
lovers;   these  voices  still  contain  a  tinge  of  the 
motherly  and  housewifely  character,  and  most  of 
all  when  love  is  in  their  tone. 


On  Female  Chastity.— ThexQ  is  something  quite 
astonishing  and  extraordinary  in  the  education  of 
women  of  the  higher  class  ;  indeed,  there  is  perhaps 
nothing  more  paradoxical.     All  the  world  is  agreed 
to  educate  them  with  as  much  ignorance  as  possible 
in  eroticis,  and  to  inspire  their  soul  with  a  profound 
shame  of  such  things,  and  the  extremest  impatience 
and  horror  at  the  suggestion  of  them.     It  is  really 
here  only  that  all  the  "  honour "  of  woman  is  at 
stake ;  what  would  one  not  forgive  them  in  other 
respects!     But  here  they  are  intended  to  remain 
ignorant  to  the  very  backbone : — they  are  intended 
to  have  neither  eyes,  ears,  words,  nor  thoughts  for 
this,  their  "  wickedness  "  ;  indeed  knowledge  here  is 
already  evil.     And  then!     To  be  hurled  as  with 
an  awful  thunderbolt  into  reality  and  knowledge 
with  marriage— and  indeed   by  him   whom   they 
most  love  and  esteem :  to  have  to  encounter  love 
and  shame  in  contradiction,  yea,  to  have  to  feel 
rapture,  abandonment,  duty,  sympathy,  and  fright 
at  the  unexpected  proximity  of  God  and  animal, 
and  whatever  else  besides!    all  at  once! — There, 
in  fact,  a  psychic  entanglement  has  been  effected 
which  is  quite  unequalled  !     Even  the  sympathetic 
curiosity  of  the  wisest  discerner  of  men  does  not 
suffice  to  divine  how  this  or  that  woman  gets  along 
with  the  solution  of  this  enigma  and  the  enigma 
of  this  solution  ;   what  dreadful,  far-reaching  sus- 
picions must  awaken  thereby  in  the  poor  unhinged 
soul;  and  forsooth,  how  the  ultimate  philosophy 
and  scepticism  of  the  woman  casts  anchor  at  this 


point! — Afterwards  the  same  profound  silence  as  be- 
fore :  and  often  even  a  silence  to  herself,  a  shutting 
of  her  eyes  to  herself— Young  wives  on  that  account 
make  great  efforts  to  appear  superficial  and  thought- 
less ;  the  most  ingenious  of  them  simulate  a  kind 
of  impudence. — Wives  easily  feel  their  husbands  as 
a  question-mark  to  their  honour,  and  their  children 
as  an  apology  or  atonement, — they  require  children, 
and  wish  for  them  in  quite  another  spirit  than  a 
husband  wishes  for  them. — In  short,  one  cannot 
be  gentle  enough  towards  women  ! 


Mothers. — Animals  think  differently  from  men 
with  respect  to  females ;  with  them  the  female  is 
regarded  as  the  productive  being.  There  is  no 
paternal  love  among  them,  but  there  is  such  a 
thing  as  love  of  the  children  of  a  beloved,  and 
habituation  to  them.  In  the  young,  the  females 
find  gratification  for  their  lust  of  dominion ;  the 
young  are  a  property,  an  occupation,  something 
quite  comprehensible  to  them,  with  which  they 
can  chatter :  all  this  conjointly  is  maternal  love, — 
it  is  to  be  compared  to  the  love  of  the  artist  for 
his  work.  Pregnancy  has  made  the  females  gentler, 
more  expectant,  more  timid,  more  submissively 
inclined  ;  and  similarly  intellectual  pregnancy  en- 
genders the  character  of  the  contemplative,  who 
are  allied  to  women  in  character: — they  are  the 
masculine  mothers. — Among  animals  the  masculine 
sex  is  regarded  as  the  beautiful  sex. 


Saintly  Cruelty.— h  man  holding  a  newly  born 
child  in  his  hands  came  to  a  saint.     «  What  should 
I   do  with  this  child,"  he  asked,  "it  is  wretched, 
deformed,   and   has   not   even    enough  o^   ^^fe  ^^ 
die."     "Kill   it,"  cried   the  saint  with  a  dreadful 
voice,  "kill  it, 'and  then  hold  it  in  thy  arms  for 
three  days  and  three  nights  to  brand  it  on  thy 
memory  —thus  wilt  thou  never  again  beget  a  child 
when  it  is  not  the  time  for  thee  to  beget"— When 
the  man  had  heard  this  he  went  away  disappointed ; 
and  many  found  fault  with  the  saint  because  he 
had  advised  cruelty ;  for  he  had  advised  to  kill  the 
child.     "But  is  it  not  more  cruel  to  let  it  live? 
asked  the  saint. 

The  Unsuccessful.— Those  poor  women  always  fail 
of  success  who  become  agitated  and  uncertain,  and 
talk  too  much  in  presence  of  him  whom  they  love ; 
for  men  are  most  successfully  seduced  by  a 
certain  subtle  and  phlegmatic  tenderness. 

The  Third  Sex.—"A  small  man  is  a  paradox, 
but  still  a  man,— but  a  small  woman  seems  to 
me  to  be  of  another  sex  in  comparison  with  well- 
grown  ones"— said  an  old  dancing-master.  A 
small  woman  is  never  beautiful-said  old  Aristotle. 

The  greatest  Danger.— "A^^  there  not  at  all  times 
been  a  larger  number  of  men  who  regarded  the 


cultivation  of  their  mind — their  "rationality" — 
as  their  pride,  their  obligation,  their  virtue,  and 
were  injured  or  shamed  by  all  play  of  fancy  and 
extravagance  of  thinking — as  lovers  of  "sound 
common  sense  "  : — mankind  would  long  ago  have 
perished !  Incipient  insanity  has  hovered,  and 
hovers  continually  over  mankind  as  its  greatest 
danger :  it  is  precisely  the  breaking  out  of  in- 
clination in  feeling,  seeing,  and  hearing  ;  the  enjoy- 
ment of  the  unruliness  of  the  mind  ;  the  delight  in 
human  unreason.  It  is  not  truth  and  certainty 
that  is  the  antithesis  of  the  world  of  the  insane, 
but  the  universality  and  all-obligatoriness  of  a 
belief,  in  short,  non-voluntariness  in  forming 
opinions.  And  the  greatest  labour  of  human  be- 
ings hitherto  has  been  to  agree  with  one  another 
regarding  a  number  of  things,  and  to  impose 
upon  themselves  a  law  of  agreement — indifferent 
whether  these  things  are  true  or  false.  This  is 
the  discipline  of  the  mind  which  has  preserved 
mankind ; — but  the  counter-impulses  are  still  so 
powerful  that  one  can  really  speak  of  the  future  of 
mankind  with  little  confidence.  The  ideas  of 
things  still  continually  shift  and  move,  and  will 
perhaps  alter  more  than  ever  in  the  future ;  it  is 
continually  the  most  select  spirits  themselves  who 
strive  against  universal  obligatoriness — the  investi- 
gators of  truth  above  all !  The  accepted  belief,  as 
the  belief  of  all  the  world,  continually  engenders  a 
disgust  and  a  new  longing  in  the  more  ingenious 
minds;  and  already  the  slow  tempo  which  it  de- 
mands for  all  intellectual  processes  (the  imitation 
of  the  tortoise,  which  is  here  recognised  as  the  rule) 


makes  the  artists  and  poets  runaways : — it  is  in 
these  impatient  spirits  that  a  downright  deHght  in 
delirium  breaks  out,  because  delirium  has  such  a 
joyful  tempo!  Virtuous  intellects,  therefore,  are 
needed — ah  !  I  want  to  use  the  least  ambiguous 
word, — virtuous  stupidity  is  needed,  imperturbable 
conductors  of  the  slow  spirits  are  needed,  in  order 
that  the  faithful  of  the  great  collective  belief  may 
remain  with  one  another  and  dance  their  dance 
further :  it  is  a  necessity  of  the  first  importance 
that  here  enjoins  and  demands.  We  others  are  the 
exceptions  and  the  danger^ — we  eternally  need  pro- 
tection ! — Well,  there  can  actually  be  something 
said  in  favour  of  the  exceptions  provided  that  they 
never  want  to  become  the  rule. 


The  Animal  with  good  Conscience. — It  is  not 
unknown  to  me  that  there  is  vulgarity  in  every- 
thing that  pleases  Southern  Europe — whether  it 
be  Italian  opera  (for  example,  Rossini's  and 
Bellini's),  or  the  Spanish  adventure-romance  (most 
readily  accessible  to  us  in  the  French  garb  of  Gil 
Bias) — but  it  does  not  offend  me,  any  more  than 
the  vulgarity  which  one  encounters  in  a  walk 
through  Pompeii,  or  even  in  the  reading  of  every 
ancient  book  :  what  is  the  reason  of  this  ?  Is 
it  because  shame  is  lacking  here,  and  because  the 
vulgar  always  comes  forward  just  as  sure  and 
certain  of  itself  as  anything  noble,  lovely,  and 
passionate  in  the  same  kind  of  music  or  romance  ? 
"  The  animal  has  its  rights  like  man,  so  let  it 
run  about  freely ;   and  you,  my  dear  fellow-man, 


are   still    this    animal,    in    spite   of    all!"  — that 
seems  to    me   the    moral    of   the   case,  and   the 
peculiarity  of  southern  humanity.     Bad  taste  has 
its  rights  like  good  taste,  and  even  a  prerogative 
over  the  latter  when  it  is  the  great  requisite,  the 
sure  satisfaction,  and  as  it  were  a  universal  language, 
an  immediately  intelligible    mask    and    attitude; 
the  excellent,  select  taste  on  the  other  hand  has 
always  something  of  a  seeking,  tentative  character, 
not  fully  certain  that  it  understands,— it  is  never, 
and  has  never  been  popular !     The  masque  is  and 
remains    popular!      So    let    all    this    masquerade 
run  along  in  the  melodies  and  cadences,  in  the 
leaps  and  merriment  of  the  rhythm  of  these  operas  ! 
Quite  the  ancient  life !     What  does  one  understand 
of  it,  if  one  does  not  understand  the  delight  in  the 
masque,  the  good  conscience  of  all  masquerade! 
Here  is  the  bath  and  the  refreshment  of  the  ancient 
spirit:  — and   perhaps    this    bath   was   still   more 
necessary  for  the  rare  and  sublime  natures  of  the 
ancient  world  than  for  the  vulgar.— On  the  other 
hand,  a  vulgar  turn  in  northern  works,  for  example 
in  German  music,  offends  me  unutterably.     There 
is  shame  in  it,  the  artist  has   lowered  himself  in 
his  own  sight,  and  could  not  even  avoid  blushing : 
we  are  ashamed  with  him,  and  are  so  hurt  because 
we  surmise  that  he  believed  he  had  to  lower  him- 
self on  our  account. 


What  we  should  be  Grateful  for.— It  is  only  the 
artists,  and  especially  the  theatrical  artists,  who 
have  furnished  men  with  eyes  and  ears  to  hear  and 


see  with  some  pleasure  what  everyone  is  in  him- 
self, what  he  experiences  and  aims  at :  it  is  only 
they  who  have  taught  us  how  to  estimate  the  hero 
that  is  concealed  in  each  of  these  common-place 
men,  and  the  art  of  looking  at  ourselves  from  a 
distance  as  heroes,  and  as  it  were  simplified  and 
transfigured,— the  art  of  "  putting  ourselves  on  the 
stage"  before  ourselves.  It  is  thus  only  that  we 
get  beyond  some  of  the  paltry  details  in  ourselves  1 
Without  that  art  we  should  be  nothing  but  fore- 
ground, and  would  live  absolutely  under  the  spell 
of  the  perspective  which  makes  the  closest  and  the 
commonest  seem  immensely  large  and  like  reality 

in  itself. Perhaps  there  is  merit  of  a  similar  kind 

in  the  religion  which  commanded  us  to  look  at  the 
sinfulness  of  every  individual  man  with  a  magnify- 
ing-glass,  and  made  a  great,  immortal  criminal 
of  the  sinner;  in  that  it  put  eternal  perspec- 
tives around  man,  it  taught  him  to  see  himself 
from  a  distance,  and  as  something  past,  something 


The  Charm  of  Imperfection.— \  see  here  a  poet, 
who,  like  so  many  men,  exercises  a  higher  charm 
by  his  imperfections  than  by  all  that  is  rounded  off 
and  takes  perfect  shape  under  his  hands,— indeed, 
he  derives  his  advantage  and  reputation  far  more 
from  his  actual  limitations  than  from  his  abun- 
dant powers.  His  work  never  expresses  altogether 
what  he  would  really  like  to  express,  what  he 
would  like  to  have  seen:  he  appears  to  have  had 
the   foretaste  of  a   vision    and   never  the  vision 


itself :— but  an  extraordinary  longing  for  this  vision 
has  remained  in  his  soul ;  and  from  this  he 
derives  his  equally  extraordinary  eloquence  of 
longing  and  craving.  With  this  he  raises  those 
who  listen  to  him  above  his  work  and  above  all 
"  works,"  and  gives  them  wings  to  rise  higher  than 
hearers  have  ever  risen  before,  thus  making  them 
poets  and  seers  themselves ;  they  then  show  an  ad- 
miration for  the  originator  of  their  happiness,  as  if 
he  had  led  them  immediately  to  the  vision  of  his 
holiest  and  ultimate  verities,  as  if  he  had  reached 
his  goal,  and  had  actually  seen  and  communicated 
his  vision.  It  is  to  the  advantage  of  his  reputa- 
tion that  he  has  not  really  arrived  at  his  goal. 

Art  and  Nature.— T^q  Greeks  (or  at  least  the 
Athenians)  liked   to   hear   good    talking :    indeed 
they  had  an  eager  inclination  for  it,  which  dis- 
tinguished  them   more   than  anything   else   from 
non-Greeks.     And  so  they  required  good  talking 
even  from  passion  on  the  stage,  and  submitted  to 
the  unnaturalness  of  dramatic  verse  with  delight : 
—in  nature,  forsooth,  passion  is  so  sparing  of  words  ! 
so  dumb  and  confused !     Or  if  it  finds  words,  so 
embarrassed  and  irrational  and  a  shame  to  itself! 
We  have  now,  all   of  us,  thanks  to  the  Greeks, 
accustomed  ourselves  to  this  unnaturalness  on  the 
stage,  as  we  endure  that  other  unnaturalness,  the 
singing  passion,  and  willingly  endure  it,  thanks  to 
the  Italians.— It  has  become  a  necessity  to  us,  which 
we  cannot  satisfy  out  of  the  resources  of  actuality, 
to  hear  men  talk  well  and  in  full  detail  in  the  most 


trying  situations  :  it  enraptures  us  at  present  when 
the  tragic  hero  still  finds  words,  reasons,  eloquent 
gestures,  and  on  the  whole  a  bright  spirituality, 
where  life  approaches  the  abysses,  and  where  the 
actual  man  mostly  loses  his  head,  and  certainly 
his  fine  language.     This   kind   of  deviation  from 
nature  is  perhaps  the  most  agreeable  repast  for 
man's  pride :  he  loves  art  generally  on  account  of 
it,   as   the   expression  of  high,  heroic   unnatural- 
ness  and  convention.     One  rightly  objects  to  the 
dramatic  poet  when  he  does  not  transform  every- 
thing into  reason  and  speech,  but  always  retains  a 
remnant  oi  silence : — ^just  as  one  is  dissatisfied  with 
an  operatic  musician  who  cannot  find  a  melody 
for  the  highest  emotion,  but  only  an  emotional, 
"natural"  stammering  and  crying.     Here  nature 
has    to    be    contradicted !      Here    the    common 
charm  of  illusion  has  to  give  place  to  a  higher 
charm  !     The  Greeks  go  far,  far  in  this  direction 
— frightfully  far!     As  they  constructed  the  stage 
as  narrow  as  possible  and  dispensed  with  all  the 
effect  of  deep  backgrounds,  as  they  made  panto- 
mime and  easy  motion  impossible  to  the  actor,  and 
transformed  him  into  a  solemn,  stiff",  masked  bogey, 
so  they  have  also  deprived  passion  itself  of  its  deep 
background,  and  have  dictated  to  it  a  law  of  fine 
talk ;  indeed,  they  have  really  done  everything  to 
counteract    the    elementary   effect    of  representa- 
tions that  inspire  pity  and  terror :    they  did  not 
want  pity  and  terror, — with  due  deference,  with 
the     highest     deference     to    Aristotle!     but    he 
certainly   did    not    hit    the    nail,  to   say   nothing 
of  the  head  of  the  nail,  when  he  spoke  about  the 


final  aim  of  Greek  tragedy !  Let  us  but  look  at 
the  Grecian  tragic  poets  with  respect  to  what  most 
excited  their  diligence,  their  inventiveness,  and  their 
emulation, — certainly  it  was  not  the  intention  of 
subjugating  the  spectators  by  emotion!  The 
Athenian  went  to  the  theatre  to  hear  fine  talking! 

And  fine  talking  was  arrived  at  by  Sophocles ! 

pardon  me  this  heresy ! — It  is  very  different  with 
serious  opera :  all  its  masters  make  it  their  business 
to  prevent  their  personages  being  understood. 
"  An  occasional  word  picked  up  may  come  to  the 
assistance  of  the  inattentive  listener ;    but  on  the 

whole  the   situation   must   be  self-explanatory, 

the  talking  is  of  no  account ! " — so  they  all  think, 
and  so  they  have  all  made  fun  of  the  words. 
Perhaps  they  have  only  lacked  courage  to  express 
fully  their  extreme  contempt  for  words :  a  little 
additional  insolence  in  Rossini,  and  he  would  have 
allowed  la-la-la-la  to  be  sung  throughout — and  it 
might  have  been  the  rational  course !  The  person- 
ages of  the  opera  are  not  meant  to  be  believed 
"  in  their  words,"  but  in  their  tones  !  That  is  the 
difference,  that  is  the  fine  unnaturalness  on  account 
of  which  people  go  to  the  opera !  Even  the  recita- 
tivo  secco  is  not  really  intended  to  be  heard  as 
words  and  text :  this  kind  of  half-music  is  meant 
rather  in  the  first  place  to  give  the  musical  ear  a 
little  repose  (the  repose  from  melody,  as  from  the 
sublimest,  and  on  that  account  the  most  straining 
enjoyment  of  this  art),— but  very  soon  something 
different  results,  namely,  an  increasing  impatience, 
an  increasing  resistance,  a  new  longing  for  entire 
music,  for  melody.— How  is  it  with  the  art  of 


Richard  Wagner  as  seen  from  this  standpoint?  Is 
uLhaps  the  same?  I  would 
oton  seem  to  me  as  if  one  needed  to  have  learned 
by  heart  both  the  words  and  the  »"='^  jf  J"= 
Jeations  before  the  performances;  ^^  «*°" 
that-so  it  seemed  to  me-one  may  hear  neither 
the  words,  nor  even  the  music. 


Grecian  Taste.-"  ^h^A  is  beautiful   in   it?"- 
asked  a  certain  geometrician,  after  a  P-forman  e 
of  the  iphigenia-"  there  is  nothmg  proved  in  it . 
CouH  the  Greeks  have  been  so  far  from  th^  taste? 
In  Sophocles  at  least  "everything  is  proved. 

Esprit  Un-Grecian-the  Greeks  were  exceed 
ingly  logical  and  plain  in  all  their;    hey 
did  not  get  tired  of  it,  at  least  durmg  their  long 
flourlhing  period,  as  is  so  often  the  case  with  the 
French;  Iho  too  willingly  made  a  little  excursion 
into  the  opposite,  and  in  fact  endure  the  spir  t  of 
loric  only  when  it  betrays  its  ..««*&  courtesy 
its  sociable  self-renunciation,  by  a  n>"ltitude  of 
such  little   excursions  into  its   opposite.     Logic 
appears  to  them  as  necessary  as  bread  and  water 
bufalso  like  these  as  a  kind  of  prison-fare,  as  soon 
as  it  is  to  be  taken  pure  and  by  itself.    In  good 
soclty  one  must  never  want  to  be  in  the  right 
absolutely  and  solely,  as  aU.pure  logic  requ-res^ 
h..nce  the  little  dose  of  irrationality  in  all  French 
^;;^:ilThe  social  sense  of  the  Greeks  was  far 
tSs  developed  than  that  of  the  French  m  the 


present  and  the  past ;  hence,  so  little  esprit  in  their 
cleverest  men,  hence,  so  little  wit,  even  in  their  wags, 
hence — alas!  But  people  will  not  readily  believe 
these  tenets  of  mine,  and  how  much  of  the  kind 
I  have  still  on  my  soul ! — Est  res  magna  tacere 
— says  Martial,  like  all  garrulous  people. 

Translations. — One  can  estimate  the  amount  of 
the  historical  sense  which  an  age  possesses  by  the 
way  in  which  it  makes  translations  and  seeks  to 
embody  in  itself  past  periods  and  literatures. 
The  French  of  Corneille,  and  even  the  French  of 
the  Revolution,  appropriated  Roman  antiquity  in  a 
manner  for  which  we  would  no  longer  have  the 
courage — owing  to  our  superior  historical  sense. 
And  Roman  antiquity  itself:  how  violently,  and 
at  the  same  time  how  naively,  did  it  lay  its  hand 
on  everything  excellent  and  elevated  belonging  to 
the  older  Grecian  antiquity !  How  they  trans- 
lated these  writings  into  the  Roman  present ! 
How  they  wiped  away  intentionally  and  uncon- 
cernedly the  wing-dust  of  the  butterfly  moment ! 
It  is  thus  that  Horace  now  and  then  translated 
Alcaeus  or  Archilochus,  it  is  thus  that  Propertius 
translated  Callimachus  and  Philetas  (poets  of 
equal  rank  with  Theocritus,  if  we  be  allowed  to 
judge) :  of  what  consequence  was  it  to  them  that 
the  actual  creator  experienced  this  and  that,  and 
had  inscribed  the  indication  thereof  in  his  poem  ! — 
as  poets  they  were  averse  to  the  antiquarian, 
inquisitive  spirit  which  precedes  the  historical 
sense  ;  as  poets  they  did  not  respect  those  essenti- 


ally    personal    traits    and    names,    nor    anything 
peculiar    to    city,   coast,   or   century,  such    as   its 
costume   and  mask,  but  at  once  put  the  present 
and  the  Roman  in  its  place.     They  seem  to  us  to 
ask-  "Should  we  not  make  the  old  new  for  our- 
selves, and  adjust  ourselves  to  it?     Should  we  not 
be  allowed  to  inspire  this  dead  body  with  our  soul? 
for  it  is  dead  indeed  :  how  loathsome  is  everything 
dead  '  "—They  did  not  know  the  pleasure  of  the 
historical  sense  ;  the  past  and  the  alien  was  painful 
to  them,  and  as  Romans  it  was  an  incitement  to 
a    Roman    conquest.      In    fact,    they    conquered 
when    they    translated,-not    only    in    that    they 
omitted  the  historical:   they  added  also  allusions 
to   the   present ;   above   all,   they  struck   out  the 
name  of  the  poet  and  put  their  own  in  its  place 
-not  with  the  feeling  of  theft,  but  with  the  very 
best  conscience  of  the  imperium  Romanum. 

The  Origin  of  Poetry.— Th^  lovers  of  the  fantastic 
in  man,  who  at  the  same  time  represent  the  doctrine 
of    instinctive    morality,    draw    this    conclusion: 
«'  Granted  that  utility  has  been  honoured  at  all  times 
as  the  highest  divinity,  where  then  in  all  the  world 
has  poetry  come  from  ?-this  rhythmising  of  speech 
which   thwarts   rather  than  furthers   plainness  of 
communication,  and  which,  nevertheless,  has  sprung 
up  everywhere  on  the  earth,  and  still  springs  up, 
as  a  mockery  of  all  useful  purpose!     The  wildly 
beautiful   irrationality  of  poetry   refutes  you,   ye 
utilitarians!     The  wish   to  get   rid   of  "tUity  in 
some  way-that  is   precisely  what  has   elevated 


man,  that  is  what  has  inspired  him  to  morality  and 
art ! "  Well,  I  must  here  speak  for  once  to  please 
the  utilitarians, — they  are  so  seldom  in  the  right 
that  it  is  pitiful !  In  the  old  times  which  called 
poetry  into  being,  people  had  still  utility  in  view 
with  respect  to  it,  and  a  very  important  utility — 
at  the  time  when  rhythm  was  introduced  into 
speech,  that  force  which  arranges  all  the  particles 
of  the  sentence  anew,  commands  the  choosing  of 
the  words,  recolours  the  thought,  and  makes  it  more 
obscure,  more  foreign,  and  more  distant :  to  be  sure 
a  superstitious  utility !  It  was  intended  that  a 
human  entreaty  should  be  more  profoundly  im- 
pressed upon  the  Gods  by  virtue  of  rhythm,  after 
it  had  been  observed  that  men  could  remember 
a  verse  better  than  an  unmetrical  speech.  It  was 
likewise  thought  that  people  could  make  them- 
selves audible  at  greater  distances  by  the  rhythmi- 
cal beat ;  the  rhythmical  prayer  seemed  to  come 
nearer  to  the  ear  of  the  Gods.  Above  all,  however, 
people  wanted  to  have  the  advantage  of  the 
elementary  conquest  which  man  experiences  in 
himself  when  he  hears  music :  rhythm  is  a  con- 
straint ;  it  produces  an  unconquerable  desire  to 
yield,  to  join  in  ;  not  only  the  step  of  the  foot, 
but  also  the  soul  itself  follows  the  measure, — 
probably  the  soul  of  the  Gods  also,  as  people 
thought !  They  attempted,  therefore,  to  constrain 
the  Gods  by  rhythm,  and  to  exercise  a  power  over 
them ;  they  threw  poetry  around  the  Gods  like  a 
magic  noose.  There  was  a  still  more  wonderful 
idea,  and  it  has  perhaps  operated  most  powerfully 
of  all  in  the  originating  of  poetry.     Among  the 


Pythagoreans  it  made  its  appearance  as  a  philoso- 
phical doctrine  and  as  an  artifice  of  teaching  :  but 
long   before   there  were   philosophers   music   was 
acknowledged  to  possess  the  power  of  unburdenmg 
the   emotions,  of  purifying  the  soul,  of  soothing 
the  ferocia   animi—2.nd   this   was   owing   to   the 
rhythmical  element  in  music.     When  the  proper 
tension  and  harmony  of  the  soul  were  lost  a  person 
had  to  dance  to  the  measure  of  the  singer,— that 
was  the  recipe  of  this  medical  art.     By  means  of  it 
Terpander  quieted  a  tumult,  Empedocles  calmed  a 
maniac,   Damon   purged   a  love-sick   youth  ;    by 
means  of  it  even  the  maddened,  revengeful  Gods 
were  treated  for  the  purpose  of  a  cure.     This  was 
effected   by   driving   the    frenzy   and   wantonness 
of  their  emotions  to  the  highest  pitch,  by  making 
the  furious  mad,  and   the  revengeful  intoxicated 
with  vengeance  :-all  the   orgiastic  cults   seek  to 
discharge  the  ferocia  of  a  deity  all  at  once,  and 
thus  make  an  orgy,  so  that  the  deity  may  feel  freer 
and  quieter  afterwards,  and  leave  man  m  peace. 
Melos,  according  to  its  root,  signifies  a  soothing 
aeency,  not  because  the  song  is  gentle  itself,  but 
because   its  after-effect  is  gentle.-And  not  only 
in  the  religious  song,  but  also  in  the  secular  song 
of  the  most  ancient  times,  the  prerequisite  is  that 
the  rhythm  should  exercise  a  magical  influence; 
for  example,  in  drawing  water,  or  in  rowing :  the 
song  is  for  the  enchanting  of  the  spirits  supposed  to 
be  active  thereby  ;  it  makes  them  obliging,  involun- 
tary  and  the  instruments  of  man.     And  as  often 
as   a   person  acts  he  has  occasion  to  sing,  every 
action  is  dependent  on  the  assistance  of  spirits : 


magic    song    and   incantation   appear   to    be   the 
original  form  of  poetry.     When  verse  also  came  to 
be  used   in    oracles— the    Greeks    said    that    the 
hexameter  was  invented  at  Delphi,— the  rhythm 
was  here  also  intended  to  exercise  a  compulsory 
influence.'    To    make    a    prophecy — that    means 
originally   (according   to   what   seems   to  me   the 
probable  derivation  of  the  Greek  word)  to  deter- 
mine something  ;  people  thought  they  could  deter- 
mine  the  future  by  winning  Apollo  over  to  their 
side :  he  who,  according  to  the  most  ancient  idea,  is 
far  more  than  a  foreseeing  deity.     According  as  the 
formula  is  pronounced  with  literal  and  rhythmical 
correctness,  it  determines  the  future :  the  formula, 
however,  is  the  invention  of  Apollo,  who  as  the 
God  of  rhythm,  can  also  determine  the  goddesses 
of  fate. — Looked  at  and  investigated  as  a  whole, 
was   there   ever   anything  more  serviceable  to  the 
ancient  superstitious  species  of  human  being  than 
rhythm?     People   could   do    everything   with   it: 
they  could   make  labour  go  on  magically;   they 
could  compel  a  God  to  appear,  to  be  near  at  hand, 
and  listen  to  them  ;  they  could  arrange  the  future 
for  themselves  according  to  their  will ;  they  could 
unburden  their  own  souls  of  any  kind  of  excess  (of 
anxiety,  of  mania,  of  sympathy,  of  revenge),  and 
not  only  their  own  souls,  but  the  souls  of  the  most 
evil  spirits, — without  verse  a  person  was  nothing, 
by  means  of  verse  a  person  became  almost  a  God. 
Such  a  fundamental  feeling  no  longer  allows  itself 
to  be  fully  eradicated, — and  even  now,  after  mil- 
lenniums of  long  labour  in  combating  such  supersti- 
tion, the  very  wisest  of  us  occasionally  becomes  the 


fool  of  rhythm,  be  it  only  that  one  perceives  a 
thought  to  be  ^r^^^r  when  it  has  a  metrical  form 
and  approaches  with  a  divine  hopping.  Is  it  not 
a  very  funny  thing  that  the  most  serious  philo- 
sophers, however  anxious  they  are  in  other  respects 
for  strict  certainty,  still  appeal  to  poetical  sayings  in 
order  to  give  their  thoughts  force  and  credibility  ? 

and  yet  it  is  more  dangerous  to  a  truth  when  the 

poet  assents  to  it  than  when  he  contradicts  it! 
For,  as  Homer  says,  "  Minstrels  speak  much  false- 


The  Good  and  the  Beautiful.— hvtists  glorify 
continually — they  do  nothing  else, — and  indeed 
they  glorify  all  those  conditions  and  things  that 
have  a  reputation,  so  that  man  may  feel  himself 
good  or  great,  or  intoxicated,  or  merry,  or  pleased 
and  wise  by  it.  Those  select  things  and  conditions 
whose  value  for  human  happiness  is  regarded 
as  secure  and  determined,  are  the  objects  of 
artists :  they  are  ever  lying  in  wait  to  discover 
such  things,  to  transfer  them  into  the  domain  of 
art.  I  mean  to  say  that  they  are  not  themselves 
the  valuers  of  happiness  and  of  the  happy  ones, 
but  they  always  press  close  to  these  valuers  with 
the  greatest  curiosity  and  longing,  in  order 
immediately  to  use  their  valuations  advantageously. 
As  besides  their  impatience,  they  have  also  the 
big  lungs  of  heralds  and  the  feet  of  runners,  they 
are  generally  always  among  the  first  to  glorify  the 
new  excellency,  and  often  seem  to  be  the  first  who 
have  called  it  good  and  valued  it  as  good.     This, 


however,  as  we  have  said,  is  an  error ;  they  are 
only  faster  and  louder  than  the  actual  valuers : — 
And  who  then  are  these  ?— They  are  the  rich  and 
the  leisurely. 


The  Theatre. — This  day  has  given  me  once  more 
strong  and  elevated  sentiments,  and  if  I  could 
have  music  and  art  in  the  evening,  I  know  well 
what  music  and  art  I  should  not  like  to  have ; 
namely,  none  of  that  which  would  fain  intoxicate 
its  hearers  and  excite  them  to  a  crisis  of  strong  and 
high  feeling, — those  men  with  commonplace  souls, 
who  in  the  evening  are  not  like  victors  on  triumphal 
cars,  but  like  tired  mules  to  whom  life  has  rather 
too  often  applied  the  whip.  What  would  those 
men  at  all  know  of  "  higher  moods,"  unless  there 
were  expedients  for  causing  ecstasy  and  idealistic 
strokes  of  the  whip! — and  thus  they  have  their 
inspirers  as  they  have  their  wines.  But  what  is 
their  drink  and  their  drunkenness  to  me!  Does 
the  inspired  one  need  wine  ?  He  rather  looks  with 
a  kind  of  disgust  at  the  agency  and  the  agent  which 
are  here  intended  to  produce  an  effect  without 
sufficient  reason, — an  imitation  of  the  high  tide  of 
the  soul !  What  ?  One  gives  the  mole  wings  and 
proud  fancies — before  going  to  sleep,  before  he 
creeps  into  his  hole?  One  sends  him  into  the 
theatre  and  puts  great  magnifying-glasses  to  his 
blind  and  tired  eyes?  Men,  whose  life  is  not 
"action"  but  business,  sit  in  front  of  the  stage 
and  look  at  strange  beings  to  whom  life  is  more 
than  business?    "This  is  proper,"  you  say,  "this 


is  entertaining,  this  is  what  culture  wants !  "—Well 
then '  culture  is  too  often  lacking  in  me.  for  this 
sight  is   too   often   disgusting  to    me.      He   who 
has   enough   of  tragedy   and   comedy  m  himself 
surely  prefers  to  remain  away  from  the  theatre; 
or  as  an  exception,  the  whole  procedure— theatre 
and  public  and  poet  included— becomes  for  him  a 
truly  tragic  and  comic  play,  so  that  the  performed 
piece  counts  for  little  in  comparison.     He  who  is 
something  like  Faust  and  Manfred,  what  does  it 
matter  to  him  about  the  Fausts  and  Manfreds  of 
the  theatre!— while  it  certainly  gives  him  some- 
thing to  think  about  that  such  figures  are  brought 
into  the  theatre  at  all.     The  strongest  thoughts  and 
passions  before  those  who  are  not  capable  of  thought 
and  passion-but  of  intoxication  only !     And^^^T^^ 
as  a  means  to  this  end  !    And  theatre  and  music  the 
hashish-smoking  and  betel-chewing  of  Europeans! 
Oh   who  will  narrate  to  us  the  whole  history  of 
narcotics !-It  is  almost  the  history  of  "culture, 
the  so-called  higher  culture ! 

The  Conceit  of  Artisfs.-l  think  artists  often  do 
not  know  what  they  can  do  best,  because  they  are 
too  conceited,  and  have  set  their  minds  on  some- 
thing loftier  than  those  little  plants  appear  to  be, 
which  can  grow   up  to   perfection   on   their   soil, 
fresh,  rare,  and  beautiful.     The  final  value  of  their 
own  garden  and  vineyard  is  superciliously  under- 
estimated by  them,  and  their  love  and  their  insight 
are  not  of  the  same  quality.     Here  is  a  musician, 
•     who,  more  than  any  one  else,  has  the  genius  for 


discovering  the  tones  peculiar  to  suffering, oppressed, 
tortured  souls,  and  who  can  endow  even  dumb 
animals  with  speech.  No  one  equals  him  in  the 
colours  of  the  late  autumn,  in  the  indescribably 
touching  happiness  of  a  last,  a  final,  and  all  too 
short  enjoyment ;  he  knows  a  chord  for  those  secret 
and  weird  midnights  of  the  soul  when  cause  and 
effect  seem  out  of  joint,  and  when  every  instant 
something  may  originate  "out  of  nothing."  He 
draws  his  resources  best  of  all  out  of  the  lower 
depths  of  human  happiness,  and  so  to  speak,  out  of 
its  drained  goblet,  where  the  bitterest  and  most 
nauseous  drops  have  ultimately,  for  good  or  for 
ill,  commingled  with  the  sweetest.  He  knows  the 
weary  shuffling  along  of  the  soul  which  can  no 
longer  leap  or  fly,  yea,  not  even  walk  ;  he  has  the 
shy  glance  of  concealed  pain,  of  understanding 
without  comfort,  of  leave-taking  without  avowal ; 
yea,  as  the  Orpheus  of  all  secret  misery,  he  is  greater 
than  anyone ;  and  in  fact  much  has  been  added 
to  art  by  him  which  was  hitherto  inexpressible 
and  not  even  thought  worthy  of  art,  and  which  was 
only  to  be  scared  away,  by  words,  and  not  grasped 
— many  small  and  quite  microscopic  features  of 
the  soul :  yes,  he  is  the  master  of  miniature.  But 
he  does  not  wish  to  be  so !  His  character  is  more 
in  love  with  large  walls  and  daring  frescoes !  He 
fails  to  see  that  his  spirit  has  a  different  taste  and 
inclination,  and  prefers  to  sit  quietly  in  the  corners 
of  ruined  houses : — concealed  in  this  way,  concealed 
even  from  himself,  he  there  paints  his  proper  master- 
pieces, all  of  which  are  very  short,  often  only  one 
bar  in  length, — there  only  does  he  become  quite 


good,  great,  and  perfect,  perhaps  there  only. — But 
he  does  not  know  it!  He  is  too  conceited  to 
know  it. 


Earnestness  for  the  Truth. — Earnest  for  the  truth  ! 
What  different  things  men  understand  by  these 
words !  Just  the  same  opinions,  and  modes  of 
demonstration  and  testing  which  a  thinker  regards 
as  a  frivolity  in  himself,  to  which  he  has  succumbed 
with  shame  at  one  time  or  other, — just  the  same 
opinions  may  give  to  an  artist,  who  comes  in 
contact  with  them  and  accepts  them  temporarily, 
the  consciousness  that  the  profoundest  earnestness 
for  the  truth  has  now  taken  hold  of  him,  and  that 
it  is  worthy  of  admiration  that,  although  an  artist, 
he  at  the  same  time  exhibits  the  most  ardent 
desire  for  the  antithesis  of  the  apparent.  It  is  thus 
possible  that  a  person  may,  just  by  his  pathos  of 
earnestness,  betray  how  superficially  and  sparingly 
his  intellect  has  hitherto  operated  in  the  domain  of 
knowledge. — And  is  not  everything  that  we  con- 
sider important  our  betrayer?  It  shows  where  our 
motives  lie,  and  where  our  motives  are  altogether 


Now  and  Formerly. — Of  what  consequence  is  all 
our  art  in  artistic  products,  if  that  higher  art,  the 
art  of  the  festival,  be  lost  by  us?  Formerly  all 
artistic  products  were  exhibited  on  the  great 
festive-path  of  humanity,  as  tokens  of  remembrance, 
and  monuments  of  high  and  happy  moments. 
One  now  seeks  to  allure  the  exhausted  and  sickly 


from  the  great  suffering-path  of  humanity  for  a 
wanton  moment  by  means  of  works  of  art ;  one 
furnishes  them  with  a  little  ecstasy  and  insanity. 


Lights  and  Shades,— ^ooVs  and  writings  are 
different  with  different  thinkers.  One  writer  has 
collected  together  in  his  book  all  the  rays  of  light 
which  he  could  quickly  plunder  and  carry  home 
from  an  illuminating  experience;  while  another 
gives  only  the  shadows,  and  the  grey  and  black 
replicas  of  that  which  on  the  previous  day  had 
towered  up  in  his  soul. 


Precaution.— K\?iGn,  as  is  well  known,  told  a 
great  many  falsehoods  when  he  narrated  the 
history  of  his  life  to  his  astonished  contemporaries. 
He  told  falsehoods  owing  to  the  despotism  toward 
himself  which  he  exhibited,  for  example,  in  the 
way  in  which  he  created  his  own  language,  and 
tyrannised  himself  into  a  poet :— he  finally  found 
a  rigid  form  of  sublimity  into  which  he  forced  his 
life  and  his  memory ;  he  must  have  suffered  much 
in  the  process. — I  would  also  give  no  credit  to  a 
history  of  Plato's  life  written  by  himself,  as  little  as 
to  Rousseau's,  or  to  the  Vita  nuova  of  Dante. 


Prose  and  Poetry. — Let  it  be  observed  that  the 
great  masters  of  prose  have  almost  always  been 
poets  as  well,  whether  openly,  or  only  in  secret  and 


for  the  "  closet "  ;  and  in  truth  one  only  writes  good 
prose  in  view  of  poetry  !  For  prose  is  an  uninter- 
rupted, polite  warfare  with  poetry ;  all  its  charm 
consists  in  the  fact  that  poetry  is  constantly  avoided 
and  contradicted  ;  every  abstraction  wants  to  have 
a  gibe  at  poetry,  and  wishes  to  be  uttered  with  a 
mocking  voice ;  all  dryness  and  coolness  is  meant 
to  bring  the  amiable  goddess  into  an  amiable 
despair  ;  there  are  often  approximations  and  recon- 
ciliations for  the  moment,  and  then  a  sudden  recoil 
and  a  burst  of  laughter ;  the  curtain  is  often  drawn 
up  and  dazzling  light  let  in  just  while  the  goddess 
is  enjoying  her  twilights  and  dull  colours ;  the 
word  is  often  taken  out  of  her  mouth  and  chanted 
to  a  melody  while  she  holds  her  fine  hands  before 
her  delicate  little  ears : — and  so  there  are  a 
thousand  enjoyments  of  the  warfare,  the  defeats 
included,  of  which  the  unpoetic,  the  so-called 
prose  -  men  know  nothing  at  all :  —  they  conse- 
quently write  and  speak  only  bad  prose !  Warfare 
is  the  father  of  all  good  things,  it  is  also  the  father 
of  good  prose ! — There  have  been  four  very  singular 
and -truly  poetical  men  in  this  century  who  have 
arrived  at  mastership  in  prose,  for  which  other- 
wise this  century  is  not  suited,  owing  to  lack  of 
poetry,  as  we  have  indicated.  Not  to  take  Goethe 
into  account,  for  he  is  reasonably  claimed  by  the 
century  that  produced  him,  I  look  only  on  Giacomo 
Leopardi,  Prosper  Merim6e,  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson, 
and  Walter  Savage  Landor  the  author  of  Imaginary 
Conversations,  as  worthy  to  be  called  masters  of 


But  why,  then,  do  you  Write  ? — A :  I  do  not 
belong  to  those  who  think  with  the  wet  pen  in 
hand  ;  and  still  less  to  those  who  yield  themselves 
entirely  to  their  passions  before  the  open  ink-bottle, 
sitting  on  their  chair  and  staring  at  the  paper.  I 
am  always  vexed  and  abashed  by  writing  ;  writing 
is  a  necessity  for  me, — even  to  speak  of  it  in  a 
simile  is  disagreeable.  B  :  But  why,  then,  do  you 
write  ?  A :  Well,  my  dear  Sir,  to  tell  you  in  con- 
fidence, I  have  hitherto  found  no  other  means  of 
getting  rid  of  my  thoughts.  B  :  And  why  do  you 
wish  to  get  rid  of  them  ?  A  :  Why  I  wish  ?  Do 
I  really  wish !     I  must. — B  :  Enough  !  Enough  ! 


Growth  after  Death. — Those  few  daring  words 
about  moral  matters  which  Fontenelle  threw 
into  his  immortal  Dialogues  of  the  Dead,  were 
regarded  by  his  age  as  paradoxes  and  amusements 
of  a  not  unscrupulous  wit ;  even  the  highest  judges 
of  taste  and  intellect  saw  nothing  more  in  them, — 
indeed,  Fontenelle  himself  perhaps  saw  nothing 
more.  Then  something  incredible  takes  place: 
these  thoughts  become  truths!  Science  proves 
them !  The  game  becomes  serious !  And  we  read 
those  dialogues  with  a  feeling  different  from  that 
with  which  Voltaire  and  Helvetius  read  them,  and 
we  involuntarily  raise  their  originator  into  another 
and  much  higher  class  of  intellects  than  they  did. — 
Rightly  ?     Wrongly  ? 


Chamfort.  —  That    such    a  judge   of  men   and 
of  the  multitude   as   Chamfort   should  side  with 
the  multitude,  instead  of  standing  apart  in  philo- 
sophical resignation  and  defence — I  am  at  a  loss 
to   explain   this,   except  as   follows: — There  was 
an  instinct  in  him  stronger  than  his  wisdom,  and 
it  had  never  been  gratified  :  the  hatred  against  all 
noblesse  of  blood  ;    perhaps  his  mother's  old  and 
only  too  explicable  hatred,  which  was  consecrated 
in  him  by  love  of  her, — an  instinct  of  revenge  from 
his  boyhood,  which  waited  for  the  hour  to  avenge 
his  mother.     But  then  the  course  of  his  life,  his 
genius,  and  alas !  most  of  all,  perhaps,  the  paternal 
blood    in    his   veins,   had    seduced    him    to    rank 
and    consider    himself   equal    to    the    noblesse  — 
for  many,  many  years !     In  the  end,  however,  he 
could  not  endure  the  sight  of  himself,  the  "old 
man "  under  the  old  regime,  any  longer ;   he  got 
into  a  violent,  penitential  passion,  and  in  this  state 
he  put  on  the  raiment  of  the  populace  as  his  special 
kind  of  hair-shirt!     His  bad  conscience  was  the 
neglect  of  revenge. — If  Chamfort  had  then  been 
a  little  more  of  the  philosopher,  the  Revolution 
would  not  have  had  its  tragic  wit  and  its  sharpest 
sting ;    it  would  have  been  regarded  as  a  much 
more  stupid  affair,  and  would  have  had  no  such 
seductive  influence  on  men's  minds.  But  Chamfort's 
hatred  and  revenge  educated  an  entire  generation  ; 
and  the  most  illustrious  men  passed  through  his 
school.     Let  us  but  consider  that  Mirabeau  looked 
up  to  Chamfort  as  to  his  higher  and  older  self, 


from  whom  he  expected  (and  endured)  impulses, 
warnings,  and  condemnations, — Mirabeau,  who  as 
a  man  belongs  to  an  entirely  different  order  of 
greatness,  as  the  very  foremost  among  the  states- 
man-geniuses of  yesterday  and  to-day. — Strange, 
that  in  spite  of  such  a  friend  and  advocate — we 
possess  Mirabeau's  letters  to  Chamfort  —  this 
wittiest  of  all  moralists  has  remained  unfamiliar 
to  the  French,  quite  the  same  as  Stendhal,  who 
has  perhaps  had  the  most  penetrating  eyes  and 
ears  of  any  Frenchman  of  this  century.  Is  it 
because  the  latter  had  really  too  much  of  the 
German  and  the  Englishman  in  his  nature  for 
the  Parisians  to  endure  him? — while  Chamfort, 
a  man  with  ample  knowledge  of  the  profundities 
and  secret  motives  of  the  soul,  gloomy,  suffering, 
ardent — a  thinker  who  found  laughter  necessary 
as  the  remedy  of  life,  and  who  almost  gave  himself 
up  as  lost  every  day  that  he  had  not  laughed, — 
seems  much  more  like  an  Italian,  and  related  by 
blood  to  Dante  and  Leopardi,  than  like  a  French- 
man. One  knows  Chamfort's  last  words:  ''Ah! 
nton  ami"  he  said  to  Sieyes,  "/<?  m'en  vais  efifin 
de  ce  monde,  oil  il  faut  que  le  ccsur  se  brise  ou  se 
bronze — ."  These  were  certainly  not  the  words  of 
a  dying  Frenchman. 

Two  Orators.—Oi  these  two  orators  the  one 
arrives  at  a  full  understanding  of  his  case  only 
when  he  yields  himself  to  emotion ;  it  is  only  this 
that  pumps  sufficient  blood  and  heat  into  his  brain 
to  compel  his  high  intellectuality  to  reveal  itself 


The  other  attempts,  indeed,  now  and  then  to  do 
the   same:    to   state    his    case    sonorously,  vehe- 
mently, and    spiritedly  with  the  aid  of  emotion, 
—but  usually   with   bad   success.     He   then   very 
soon  speaks  obscurely  and  confusedly;  he  exagger- 
ates, makes  omissions,  and  excites  suspicion  of  the 
justice  of  his  case :    indeed,  he  himself  feels  this 
suspicion,  and  the  sudden  changes  into  the  coldest 
and  most  repulsive  tones  (which  raise  a  doubt  in 
the  hearer  as  to  his  passion ateness  being  genuine) 
are  thereby  explicable.     With  him  emotion  always 
drowns  the  spirit ;   perhaps  because  it  is  stronger 
than  in  the  former.     But  he  is  at  the  height  of  his 
power  when  he  resists  the  impetuous  storm  of  his 
feeling,  and  as  it  were  scorns  it ;    it  is  then  only 
that  his  spirit  emerges  fully  from  its  concealment, 
a  spirit  logical,  mocking   and  playful,  but  never- 
theless awe-inspiring. 


The  Loquacity  of  Auikors.— There  is  a  loquacity 

of  anger— frequent  in  Luther,  also  in  Schopenhauer. 

A  loquacity  which  comes  from  too  great  a  store 

of  conceptual  formulae,  as  in  Kant.     A  loquacity 

which  comes  from  delight  in  ever  new  modifications 

of  the  same  idea :   one  finds  it  in  Montaigne.     A 

loquacity   of  malicious    natures:    whoever    reads 

writings  of  our  period  will  recollect  two  authors  in 

this  connection.     A  loquacity  which  comes  from 

delight  in  fine  words  and  forms  of  speech :  by  no 

means  rare  in  Goethe's  prose.     A  loquacity  which 

comes  from  pure  satisfaction  in  noise  and  confusion 

of  feelings :  for  example  in  Carlyle. 



In  Honour  of  Shakespeare.  —  The  best  thing  I 
could  say  in  honour  of  Shakespeare,  the  man,  is 
that  he  believed  in  Brutus,  and  cast  not  a  shadow 
of  suspicion  on  the  kind  of  virtue  which  Brutus 
represents !  It  is  to  him  that  Shakespeare  conse- 
crated his  best  tragedy — it  is  at  present  still  called 
by  a  wrong  name, — to  him,  and  to  the  most  terrible 
essence  of  lofty  morality.  Independence  of  soul ! 
— that  is  the  question  at  issue !  No  sacrifice  can 
be  too  great  there :  one  must  be  able  to  sacrifice 
to  it  even  one's  dearest  friend,  although  he  be 
the  grandest  of  men,  the  ornament  of  the  world,  the 
genius  without  peer, — if  one  really  loves  freedom 
as  the  freedom  of  great  souls,  and  if  this  freedom 
be  threatened  by  him  : — it  is  thus  that  Shakespeare 
must  have  felt !  The  elevation  in  which  he  places 
Caesar  is  the  most  exquisite  honour  he  could  confer 
upon  Brutus ;  it  is  thus  only  that  he  lifts  into 
vastness  the  inner  problem  of  his  hero,  and  similarly 
the  strength  of  soul  which  could  cut  this  knot ! — 
And  was  it  actually  political  freedom  that  impelled 
the  poet  to  sympathy  with  Brutus, — and  made  him 
the  accomplice  of  Brutus  ?  Or  was  political  freedom 
merely  a  symbol  for  something  inexpressible  ?  Do 
we  perhaps  stand  before  some  sombre  event  or 
adventure  of  the  poet's  own  soul,  which  has  remained 
unknown,  and  of  which  he  only  cared  to  speak 
symbolically?  What  is  all  Hamlet-melancholy 
in  comparison  with  the  melancholy  of  Brutus ! — 
and  perhaps  Shakespeare  also  knew  this,  as  he 
knew  the  other,  by  experience !    Perhaps  he  also  had 


his  dark  hour  and  his  bad  angel,  just  as  Brutus  had 
them'— But  whatever  similarities   and   secret   re- 
lationships  of   that   kind   there   may   have    been, 
Shakespeare  cast  himself  on  the  ground  and  felt 
unworthy  and  alien  in  presence  of  the  aspect  and 
virtue  of  Brutus :— he  has  inscribed  the  testimony 
thereof  in  the  tragedy  itself.     He  has  twice  brought 
in  a  poet  in  it,  and  twice  heaped  upon  him  such 
an  impatient  and  extreme  contempt,  that  it  sounds 
like  a  cry,— like  the  cry  of  self-contempt.     Brutus, 
even  Brutus  loses  patience  when  the  poet  appears, 
self-important,   pathetic    and    obtrusive,   as   poets 
usually  are,— persons  who  seem  to  abound  m  the 
possibilities   of  greatness,    even    moral   greatness, 
and  nevertheless   rarely  attain   even   to  ordinary 
uprightness  in  the  philosophy  of  practice  and  of 
life     "  He  may  know  the  times,  dui  I  know  his 
temper,-z.^^y    with    the    jigging    fool '."-shouts 
Brutus.     We  may  translate  this  back  into  the  soul 
of  the  poet  that  composed  it. 

The  Followers  of  Schopenhauer.— Wh^X  one  sees 
at  the  contact  of  civilized  peoples  with  barbarians, 
—namely,  that  the  lower  civilization  regularly 
accepts  in  the  first  place  the  vices,  weaknesses, 
and  excesses  of  the  higher ;  then,  from  that  point 
onward,  feels  the  influence  of  a  charm  ;  and  finally, 
by  means  of  the  appropriated  vices  and  weaknesses 
also  allows  something  of  the  valuable  influence  of 
the  higher  culture  to  leaven  it:-one  can  also  see 
this  close  at  hand  and  without  journeys  to  bar- 
barian peoples,  to  be  sure,  somewhat  refined  and 


spiritualised,  and  not  so  readily  palpable.  What 
are  the  German  followers  of  Schopenhauer  still 
accustomed  to  receive  first  of  all  from  their  master  ? 
— those  who,  when  placed  beside  his  superior  culture, 
must  deem  themselves  sufficiently  barbarous  to  be 
first  of  all  barbarously  fascinated  and  seduced 
by  him.  Is  it  his  hard  matter-of-fact  sense,  his 
inclination  to  clearness  and  rationality,  which  often 
makes  him  appear  so  English,  and  so  unlike 
Germans?  Or  the  strength  of  his  intellectual 
conscience,  which  endured  a  life-long  contradiction 
of  "being"  and  "willing,"  and  compelled  him  to 
contradict  himself  constantly  even  in  his  writings 
on  almost  every  point  ?  Or  his  purity  in  matters 
relating  to  the  Church  and  the  Christian  God  ? — 
for  here  he  was  pure  as  no  German  philosopher 
had  been  hitherto,  so  that  he  lived  and  died  "  as 
a  Voltairian."  Or  his  immortal  doctrines  of  the 
intellectuality  of  intuition,  the  apriority  of  the  law 
of  causality,  the  instrumental  nature  of  the  intellect, 
and  the  non-freedom  of  the  will  ?  No,  nothing  of 
this  enchants,  nor  is  felt  as  enchanting ;  but 
Schopenhauer's  mystical  embarrassments  and 
shufflings  in  those  passages  where  the  matter-of- 
fact  thinker  allowed  himself  to  be  seduced  and 
corrupted  by  the  vain  impulse  to  be  the  unraveller 
of  the  world's  riddle :  his  undemonstrable  doctrine 
of  one  will  ("  all  causes  are  merely  occasional  causes 
of  the  phenomenon  of  the  will  at  such  a  time  and 
at  such  a  place,"  "the  will  to  live,  whole  and 
undivided,  is  present  in  every  being,  even  in  the 
smallest,  as  perfectly  as  in  the  sum  of  all  that 
was,    is,    and     will     be");     his    denial    of    the 


individual  ("all  lions  are  really  only  one  lion," 
"  plurality  of  individuals  is  an  appearance,"  as 
also  development  is  only  an  appearance :  he  calls 
the  opinion  of  Lamarck  "an  ingenious,  absurd 
error ") ;  his  fantasy  about  genius  ("  in  aesthetic 
contemplation  the  individual  is  no  longer  an 
individual,  but  a  pure,  will-less,  painless,  timeless 
subject  of  knowledge,"  "  the  subject,  in  that  it 
entirely  merges  in  the  contemplated  object,  has 
become  this  object  itself") ;  his  nonsense  about 
sympathy,  and  about  the  outburst  of  the  principium 
individuationis  thus  rendered  possible,  as  the  source 
of  all  morality ;  including  also  such  assertions  as, 
"dying  is  really  the  design  of  existence,"  "the 
possibility  should  not  be  absolutely  denied  that 
a  magical  effect  could  proceed  from  a  person 
already  dead  "  : — these,  and  similar  extravagances 
and  vices  of  the  philosopher,  are  always  first 
accepted  and  made  articles  of  faith ;  for  vices 
and  extravagances  are  always  easiest  to  imitate, 
and  do  not  require  a  long  preliminary  practice. 
But  let  us  speak  of  the  most  celebrated  of  the 
living  Schopenhauerians,  Richard  Wagner.  —  It 
has  happened  to  him  as  it  has  already  happened 
to  many  an  artist :  he  made  a  mistake  in  the 
interpretation  of  the  characters  he  created,  and 
misunderstood  the  unexpressed  philosophy  of 
the  art  peculiarly  his  own.  Richard  Wagner 
allowed  himself  to  be  misled  by  Hegel's  influence 
till  the  middle  of  his  life;  and  he  did  the  same 
again  when  later  on  he  read  Schopenhauer's 
doctrine  between  the  lines  of  his  characters,  and 
began    to   express    himself  with    such    terms  as 


"will,"  "genius,"   and   "sympathy."     Nevertheless 
it  will  remain  true  that  nothing  is  more  counter 
to    Schopenhauer's     spirit    than     the    essentially 
Wagnerian  element  in  Wagner's  heroes:  I  mean 
the   innocence   of   the   supremest   selfishness,   the 
belief  in  strong  passion  as  the  good  in  itself,  in  a 
word,  the  Siegfried   trait  in  the   countenances  of 
his  heroes.     "  All  that  still  smacks  more  of  Spinoza 
than  of  me," — Schopenhauer  would  probably  have 
said.     Whatever  good  reasons,  therefore,  Wagner 
might   have   had  to  be  on  the  outlook  for  other 
philosophers  than  Schopenhauer,  the  enchantment 
to  which  he  succumbed  in  respect  to  this  thinker, 
not  only  made  him  blind  towards  all  other  philo- 
sophers, but  even  towards  science  itself;  his  entire 
art   is   more   and    more   inclined   to    become   the 
counterpart    and    complement    of   the    Schopen- 
hauerian  philosophy,  and  it  always  renounces  more 
emphatically  the  higher  ambition  to  become  the 
counterpart  and  complement  of  human  knowledge 
and  science.     And  not  only  is  he  allured  thereto 
by  the   whole   mystic   pomp   of    this   philosophy 
(which  would  also  have  allured  a  Cagliostro),  the 
peculiar  airs  and  emotions  of  the  philosopher  have 
all  along  been  seducing  him  as  well !     For  example, 
Wagner's  indignation  about  the  corruption  of  the 
German  language  is  Schopenhauerian  ;  and  if  one 
should  commend  his  imitation  in  this  respect,  it 
is   nevertheless   not   to  be  denied   that  Wagner's 
style  itself  suffers  in  no  small  degree  from  all  the 
tumours  and  turgidities,  the  sight  of  which  made 
Schopenhauer  so  furious ;  and  that,  in  respect  to 
the   German-writing  Wagnerians,   Wagneromania 


is  beginning  to  be  as  dangerous  as  only  some  kinds 
of  Hegelomania  have  been.      From  Schopenhauer 
comes    Wagner's    hatred    of  the  Jews,  to    whom 
he    cannot    do    justice    even    in    their    greatest 
exploit:     are    not    the    Jews    the    inventors    of 
Christianity !     The  attempt  of  Wagner  to  construe 
Christianity  as  a  seed  blown  away  from  Buddhism, 
and  his  endeavour  to  initiate  a  Buddhistic  era  in 
Europe,    under    a    temporary    approximation    tc 
Catholic-Christian   formulas    and    sentiments,   are 
both    Schopenhauerian.     Wagner's    preaching    in 
favour  of  pity  in  dealing  with  animals  is  Schopen- 
hauerian;  Schopenhauer's  predecessor  here,  as  is 
well  known,  was  Voltaire,  who  already  perhaps,  like 
his  successors,  knew  how  to  disguise  his  hatred  of 
certain  men  and   things  as  pity  towards  animals. 
At  least  Wagner's  hatred  of  science,  which  mani- 
fests   itself   in    his   preaching,   has    certainly    not 
been  inspired  by  the  spirit  of  charitableness  and 
kindness — nor  by  the  spirit  at  all,  as  is  sufficiently 
obvious. — Finally,  it  is  of  little  importance  what 
the  philosophy  of  an  artist  is,  provided  it  is  only  a 
supplementary  philosophy,  and  does  not   do  any 
injury  to  his  art  itself.     We  cannot  be  sufficiently  on 
our  guard  against  taking  a  dislike  to  an  artist  on 
account  of  an  occasional,  perhaps  very  unfortunate 
and  presumptuous  masquerade;  let  us  not  forget 
that  the  dear  artists  are  all  of  them  something  of 
actors — and  must  be  so ;  it  would  be  difficult  for 
them  to  hold  out  in  the  long  run  without  stage- 
playing.      Let    us   be   loyal    to    Wagner   in   that 
which  is  true  and  original  in  him, — and  especially 
in  this  point,  that  we,  his   disciples,  remain   loyal 

THE  JOYFUL  WISDOM,   11  1 37 

to  ourselves  in  that  which  is  true  and  original  in  us. 
Let  us  allow  him  his  intellectual  humours  and 
spasms,  let  us  in  fairness  rather  consider  what 
strange  nutriments  and  necessaries  an  art  like  his 
t's  entitled  to,  in  order  to  be  able  to  live  and  grow  ! 
It  is  of  no  account  that  he  is  often  wrong  as  a 
thinker  ;  justice  and  patience  are  not  his  affair.  It 
is  sufficient  that  his  life  is  right  in  his  own  eyes, 
and  maintains  its  right, — the  life  which  calls  to 
each  of  us  :  "  Be  a  man,  and  do  not  follow  me — but 
thyself!  thyself!"  Our  life,  also  ought  to  main- 
tain its  right  in  our  own  eyes !  We  also  are  to 
grow  and  blossom  out  of  ourselves,  free  and  fearless, 
in  innocent  selfishness !  And  so,  on  the  contem- 
plation of  such  a  man,  these  thoughts  still  ring  in 
my  ears  to-day,  as  formerly:  "That  passion  is 
better  than  stoicism  or  hypocrisy ;  that  straight- 
forwardness, even  in  evil,  is  better  than  losing 
oneself  in  trying  to  observe  traditional  morality ; 
that  the  free  man  is  just  as  able  to  be  good  as 
evil,  but  that  the  unemancipated  man  is  a  disgrace 
to  nature,  and  has  no  share  in  heavenly  or  earthly 
bliss ;  finally,  that  all  who  wish  to  be  free  must 
become  so  through  themselves,  and  that  freedom  falls 
to  nobody's  lot  as  a  gift  from  Heaven."  {^Richard 
Wagner  in  Bayreuth^  Vol.  I.  of  this  Translation, 
pp.  199-200). 


Learning  to  do  Homage. — One  must  learn  the 
art  of  homage,  as  well  as  the  art  of  contempt. 
Whoever  goes  in  new  paths  and  has  led  many 
persons  therein,  discovers  with  astonishment  how 


awkward  and  incompetent  all  of  them  are  in  the 
expression   of    their    gratitude,  and    indeed    how 
rarely  gratitude  is  able  even  to  express  itself.     It 
is   always   as   if    something  comes   into  people's 
throats  when  their   gratitude  wants  to  speak    so 
that  it  only  hems  and  haws,  and  becomes  silent 
again     The  way  in  which  a  thinker  succeeds  in 
tracing  the  effect  of  his  thoughts,  and  their  trans- 
forming and  convulsing  power,  is  almost  a  comedy  : 
it  sometimes  seems   as  if  those   who  have  been 
operated  upon  felt  profoundly  injured  thereby,  and 
could  only  assert  their  independence,  which  they 
suspect  to  be  threatened,  by  all  kinds  of  impro- 
prieties.    It  needs  whole  generations  in  order  merely 
to  devise  a  courteous  convention  of  gratefulness; 
it  is  only  very  late  that  the  period  arrives  when 
something  of  spirit  and  genius  enters  into  gratitude 
Then  there  is  usually  some  one  who  is  the  great 
receiver  of  thanks,  not  only  for  the  good  he  himself 
has  done,  but   mostly   for  that  which  has   been 
gradually   accumulated  by  his  predecessors,  as   a 
treasure  of  what  is  highest  and  best. 


r^//^/m-Wherever  there  has  been  a  court,  it 
has  furnished  the  standard  of  good-speaking,  and 
with  this  also  the  standard  of  style  for  writers 
The  court  language,  however,  is  the  language  of 
the  courtier  who  has  no  profession,  and  who  even  in 
conversations  on  scientific  subjects  avoids  all  con- 
venient,  technical  expressions,  because  they  smack 
of  the  profession;  on  that  account  the  technical 
expression,  and  everything  that  betrays  the  special- 


ist,  is  a  blemish  of  style  in  countries  which  have  a 
court  culture.  At  present,  when  all  courts  have 
become  caricatures  of  past  and  present  times,  one 
is  astonished  to  find  even  Voltaire  unspeakably 
reserved  and  scrupulous  on  this  point  (for  example, 
in  his  judgments  concerning  such  stylists  as  Fon- 
tenelle  and  Montesquieu), — we  are  now,  all  of  us, 
emancipated  from  court  taste,  while  Voltaire  was 
its  perfecter  ! 


A  Word  for  Philologists. — It  is  thought  that 
there  are  books  so  valuable  and  royal  that  whole 
generations  of  scholars  are  well  employed  when 
through  their  efforts  these  books  are  kept  genuine 
and  intelligible, — to  confirm  this  belief  again  and 
again  is  the  purpose  of  philology.  It  presupposes 
that  the  rare  men  are  not  lacking  (though  they  may 
not  be  visible),  who  actually  know  how  to  use  such 
valuable  books : — those  men  perhaps  who  write  such 
books  themselves,  or  could  write  them.  I  mean 
to  say  that  philology  presupposes  a  noble  belief, — 
that  for  the  benefit  of  some  few  who  are  always 
"  to  come,"  and  are  not  there,  a  very  great  amount 
of  painful,  and  even  dirty  labour  has  to  be  done 
beforehand  :  it  is  all  labour  in  usum  Delphinorum. 


German  Music. — German  music,  more  than  any 
other,  has  now  become  European  music  ;  because 
the  changes  which  Europe  experienced  through 
the  Revolution  have  therein  alone  found  expres- 
sion :   it  is  only  German  music  that  knows  how  to 


express  the  agitation  of  popular  masses,  the  tre- 
mendous  artificial    uproar,   which   does   not   even 
need  to  be  very  noisy,— while  Italian  opera,  for 
example,  knows   only  the   choruses  of  domestics 
or    soldiers,    but    not    "the    people."      There    is 
the   additional  fact  that  in  all    German    music  a 
profound  bourgeois  jealousy  of  the  noblesse  can  be 
traced,  especially  a  jealousy  of  esprit  and  ^Ugance, 
as  the  expressions  of  a  courtly,  chivalrous,  ancient, 
and   self-confident   society.     It  is  not  music   like 
that  of  Goethe's  musician  at  the  gate,  which  was 
pleasing  also  "in  the  hall,"  and  to   the   king   as 
well;   it  is  not  here  said:    "The  knights  looked 
on    with    martial     air ;     with    bashful     eyes    the 
ladies."      Even    the    Graces    are   not    allowed    in 
German  music  without  a  touch  of  remorse ;  it  is 
only  with  Pleasantness,  the  country  sister  of  the 
Graces   that  the   German   begins  to  feel  morally 
at  ease— and  from  this  point  up  to  his  enthusiastic, 
learned,  and  often  gruff  "  sublimity"  (the  Beethoven- 
like sublimity),  he  feels  more  and  more  so.     If  we 
want  to  imagine  the  man  of  tkis  music,— well,  let 
us  just  imagine  Beethoven  as  he  appeared  beside 
Goethe,  say,  at  their  meeting  at  Teplitz  :  as  semi- 
barbarism   beside   culture,  as   the    masses    beside 
the  nobility,  as  the  good-natured  man  beside  the 
good  and  more  than  "good"  man,  as  the  visionary 
beside  the  artist,  as  the  man  needing  comfort  beside 
the  comforted,  as  the  man  given  to  exaggeration 
and   distrust   beside   the   man   of  reason,   as    the 
crank  and  self-tormenter,  as  the  foolishly  enraptured, 
blessedly  unfortunate,  sincerely  immoderate  man[ 
as  the  pretentious  and  awkward  man,— and  alto- 


gather  as  the  "untamed  man":  it  was  thus  that 
Goethe  conceived  and  characterised  him,  Goethe, 
the  exceptional  German,  for  whom  a  music  of 
equal  rank  has  not  yet  been  found !  —  Finally, 
let  us  consider  whether  the  present  continually 
extending  contempt  of  melody  and  the  stunting  of 
the  sense  for  melody  among  Germans  should  not 
be  understood  as  a  democratic  impropriety  and  an 
after-effect  of  the  Revolution?  For  melody  has 
such  an  obvious  delight  in  conformity  to  law,  and 
such  an  aversion  to  everything  evolving,  unformed 
and  arbitrary,  that  it  sounds  like  a  note  out  of  the 
ancient  European  regime,  and  as  a  seduction  and 
guidance  back  to  it. 


The  Tone  of  the  German  Language. — We  know 
whence  the  German  originated  which  for  several 
centuries  has  been  the  universal  literary  language 
of  Germany.  The  Germans,  with  their  reverence  for 
everything  that  came  from  the  court,  intentionally 
took  the  chancery  style  as  their  pattern  in  all  that 
they  had  to  write,  especially  in  their  letters,  records, 
wills,  &c.  To  write  in  the  chancery  style,  that  was 
to  write  in  court  and  government  style, — that  was 
regarded  as  something  select,  compared  with  the 
language  of  the  city  in  which  a  person  lived. 
People  gradually  drew  this  inference,  and  spoke 
also  as  they  wrote, — they  thus  became  still  more 
select  in  the  forms  of  their  words,  in  the  choice  of 
their  terms  and  modes  of  expression,  and  finally 
also  in  their  tones  :  they  affected  a  court  tone  when 
they  spoke,   and   the  affectation   at   last   became 


natural  Perhaps  nothing  quite  similar  has  ever 
happened  elsewhere: — the  predominance  of  the 
literary  style  over  the  talk,  and  the  formality  and 
affectation  of  an  entire  people  becoming  the  basis 
of  a  common  and  no  longer  dialectical  language. 
I  believe  that  the  sound  of  the  German  language 
in  the  Middle  Ages,  and  especially  after  the  Middle 
Ages,  was  extremely  rustic  and  vulgar;  it  has 
ennobled  itself  somewhat  during  the  last  centuries, 
principally  because  it  was  found  necessary  to 
imitate  so  many  French,  Italian,  and  Spanish 
sounds,  and  particularly  on  the  part  of  the  German 
(and  Austrian)  nobility,  who  could  not  at  all 
content  themselves  with  their  mother-tongue.  But 
notwithstanding  this  practice,  German  must  have 
sounded  intolerably  vulgar  to  Montaigne,  and  even 
to  Racine :  even  at  present,  in  the  mouths  of 
travellers  among  the  Italian  populace,  it  still  sounds 
very  coarse,  sylvan,  and  hoarse,  as  if  it  had  origi- 
nated in  smoky  rooms  and  outlandish  districts. — 
Now  I  notice  that  at  present  a  similar  striving 
after  selectness  of  tone  is  spreading  among 
the  former  admirers  of  the  chancery  style,  and 
that  the  Germans  are  beginning  to  accommodate 
themselves  to  a  peculiar  "  witchery  of  sound,"  which 
might  in  the  long  run  become  an  actual  danger  to 
the  German  language, — for  one  may  seek  in  vain 
for  more  execrable  sounds  in  Europe.  Something 
mocking,  cold,  indifferent  and  careless  in  the 
voice :  that  is  what  at  present  sounds  "  noble " 
to  the  Germans  —  and  I  hear  the  approval  of 
this  nobleness  in  the  voices  of  young  officials, 
teachers,  women,  and  trades-people;  indeed,  even 


the  little  girls  already  imitate  this  German  of  the 
officers.     For  the  officer,  and  in  fact  the  Prussian 
officer  is  the  inventor  of  these  tones :  this   same 
officer,  who  as  soldier  and  professional  man  pos- 
sesses that  admirable  tact  for  modesty  which  the 
Germans  as  a  whole  might  well  imitate  (German 
professors  and  musicians  included !).     But  as  soon 
as  he  speaks  and  moves  he  is  the  most  immodest 
and   inelegant   figure   in   old  Europe  — no   doubt 
unconsciously  to  himself!     And  unconsciously  also 
to  the  good  Germans,  who  gaze  at  him  as  the  man 
of   the    foremost   and    most   select    society,    and 
willingly  let  him  "  give  them  his  tone."     And  indeed 
he  gives  it  to  them !— in  the  first  place  it  is  the 
sergeant-majors  and  non-commissioned  officers  that 
imitate  his  tone  and  coarsen  it.     One  should  note 
the  roars   of  command,  with  which  the  German 
cities  are  absolutely  surrounded  at  present,  when 
there  is  drilling  at  all  the  gates:   what  presump- 
tion, furious  imperiousness,  and  mocking  coldness 
speaks    in    this    uproar !      Could    the    Germans 
actually  be  a  musical  people?— It  is  certain  that 
the  Germans  martialise  themselves  at  present  in 
the  tone  of  their  language :  it  is  probable  that,  being 
exercised  to  speak  martially,  they  will  finally  write 
martially  also.     For  habituation  to  definite  tones 
extends  deeply  into  the  character :— people  soon 
have  the  words  and  modes  of  expression,  and  finally 
also  the  thoughts  which    just  suit  these  tones! 
Perhaps  they  already  write  in  the  officers'  style; 
perhaps  I  only  read  too  little  of  what  is  at  present 
written  in  Germany  to  know  this.    But  one  thing 
I  know  all  the  surer  :  the  German  public  declara- 


tions  which  also  reach  places  abroad,  are  not 
inspired  by  German  music,  but  just  by  that  new 
tone  of  tasteless  arrogance.  Almost  in  every 
speech  of  the  foremost  German  statesman,  and 
even  when  he  makes  himself  heard  through  his 
imperial  mouth-piece,  there  is  an  accent  which  the 
ear  of  a  foreigner  repudiates  with  aversion :  but 
the  Germans  endure  it,— they  endure  themselves. 

The  Germans  as  Artists. — When  once  a  German 
actually  experiences  passion  (and  not  only,  as  is 
usual,  the  mere  inclination  to  it),  he  then  behaves 
just  as  he  must  do  in  passion,  and  does  not  think 
further  of  his  behaviour.  The  truth  is,  however, 
that  he  then  behaves  very  awkwardly  and  uglily, 
and  as  if  destitute  of  rhythm  and  melody ;  so 
that  onlookers  are  pained  or  moved  thereby,  but 
nothing  mox&— unless  he  elevate  himself  to  the 
sublimity  and  enrapturedness  of  which  certain 
passions  are  capable.  Then  even  the  German 
becomes  beautiful.  The  consciousness  of  the  height 
at  which  beauty  begins  to  shed  its  charm  even 
over  Germans,  forces  German  artists  to  the  height 
and  the  super-height,  and  to  the  extravagances  of 
passion:  they  have  an  actual,  profound  longing, 
therefore,  to  get  beyond,  or  at  least  to  look  beyond 
the  ugliness  and  awkwardness  —  into  a  better, 
easier,  more  southern,  more  sunny  world.  And 
thus  their  convulsions  are  often  merely  indications 
that  they  would  like  to  dance :  these  poor  bears  in 
whom  hidden  nymphs  and  satyrs,  and  sometimes 
still  higher  divinities,  carry  on  their  game  ! 



Music  as  Advocate. — "I  have  a  longing  for  a 
master  of  the  musical  art,"  said  an  innovator  to 
his  disciple,  "  that  he  may  learn  from  me  my  ideas 
and  speak  them  more  widely  in  his  language :  I 
shall  thus  be  better  able  to  reach  men's  ears  and 
hearts.  For  by  means  of  tones  one  can  seduce 
men  to  every  error  and  every  truth:  who  could 
refute  a  tone  ?  " — "  You  would,  therefore,  like  to  be 
regarded  as  irrefutable?"  said  his  disciple.  The 
innovator  answered :  "  I  should  like  the  germ  to 
become  a  tree.  In  order  that  a  doctrine  may 
become  a  tree,  it  must  be  believed  in  for  a  con- 
siderable period  ;  in  order  that  it  may  be  believed 
in  it  must  be  regarded  as  irrefutable.  Storms  and 
doubts  and  worms  and  wickedness  are  necessary 
to  the  tree,  that  it  may  manifest  its  species  and 
the  strength  of  its  germ  ;  let  it  perish  if  it  is  not 
strong  enough!  But  a  germ  is  always  merely 
annihilated, — not  refuted!" — When  he  had  said 
this,  his  disciple  called  out  impetuously;  "But  I 
believe  in  your  cause,  and  regard  it  as  so  strong 
that  I  will  say  everything  against  it,  everything 
that  I  still  have  in  my  heart." — The  innovator 
laughed  to  himself  and  threatened  the  disciple  with 
his  finger.  "This  kind  of  discipleship,"  said  he 
then,  "is  the  best,  but  it  is  dangerous,  and  not 
every  kind  of  doctrine  can  stand  it." 


Our  Ultimate  Gratitude  to  Art. — If  we  had  not 
approved  of  the  Arts  and  invented  this  sort  of  cult 


of  the  untrue,  the  insight  into  the  general  untruth 
and  falsity  of  things  now  given  us  by  science — 
an  insight  into  delusion  and  error  as  conditions 
of  intelligent  and  sentient  existence — would  be 
quite  unendurable.  Honesty  would  have  disgust 
and  suicide  in  its  train.  Now,  however,  our 
honesty  has  a  counterpoise  which  helps  us  to 
escape  such  consequences ; — namely.  Art,  as  the 
good-will  to  illusion.  We  do  not  always  restrain 
our  eyes  from  rounding  off  and  perfecting  in 
imagination :  and  then  it  is  no  longer  the  eternal 
imperfection  that  we  carry  over  the  river  of 
Becoming — for  we  think  we  carry  a  goddess^  and 
are  proud  and  artless  in  rendering  this  service.  As 
an  aesthetic  phenomenon  existence  is  still  endurable 
to  us  ;  and  by  Art,  eye  and  hand  and  above  all  the 
good  conscience  are  given  to  us,  to  be  able  to  make 
such  a  phenomenon  out  of  ourselves.  We  must 
rest  from  ourselves  occasionally  by  contemplating 
and  looking  down  upon  ourselves,  and  by  laughing 
or  weeping  over  ourselves  from  an  artistic  remote- 
ness :  we  must  discover  the  hero,  and  likewise  the 
fool,  that  is  hidden  in  our  passion  for  knowledge ; 
we  must  now  and  then  be  joyful  in  our  folly,  that 
we  may  continue  to  be  joyful  in  our  wisdom ! 
And  just  because  we  are  heavy  and  serious  men 
in  our  ultimate  depth,  and  are  rather  weights  than 
men,  there  is  nothing  that  does  us  so  much  good 
as  the  fooVs  cap  and  bells :  we  need  them  in  pre- 
sence of  ourselves — we  need  all  arrogant,  soaring, 
dancing,  mocking,  childish  and  blessed  Art,  in  order 
not  to  lose  Mk\&free  dominion  over  things  which  our 
ideal  demands  of  us.    It  would  be  backsliding  for  us. 


with  our  susceptible  integrity,  to  lapse  entirely  into 
morality,  and  actually  become  virtuous  monsters 
and  scarecrows,  on  account  of  the  over -strict 
requirements  which  we  here  lay  down  for  our- 
selves. We  ought  also  to  be  able  to  stand  above 
morality,  and  not  only  stand  with  the  painful 
stiffness  of  one  who  every  moment  fears  to  slip  and 
fall,  but  we  should  also  be  able  to  soar  and  play 
above  it !  How  could  we  dispense  with  Art  for 
that  purpose,  how  could  we  dispense  with  the  fool  ? 
— And  as  long  as  you  are  still  ashamed  of  your- 
selves in  any  way,  you  still  do  not  belong  to  us ! 



New  Struggles. — After  Buddha  was  dead  people 
showed  his  shadow  for  centuries  afterwards  in  a 
cave, — an  immense  frightful  shadow.  God  is  dead  :  - 
but  as  the  human  race  is  constituted,  there  will 
perhaps  be  caves  for  millenniums  yet,  in  which 
people  will  show  his  shadow. — And  we — we  have 
still  to  overcome  his  shadow !  ""' 


Let  us  be  on  our  Guard. — Let  us  be  on  our  guard 
against  thinking  that  the  world  is  a  living  being. 
Where  could  it  extend  itself?  What  could  it 
nourish  itself  with?  How  could  it  grow  and 
increase?  We  know  tolerably  well  what  the 
organic  is  ;  and  we  are  to  reinterpret  the  emphati- 
cally derivative,  tardy,  rare  and  accidental,  which 
we  only  perceive  on  the  crust  of  the  earth,  into  the 
essential,  universal  and  eternal,  as  those  do  who 
call  the  universe  an  organism  ?  That  disgusts  me. 
Let  us  now  be  on  our  guard  against  believing  that 
the  universe  is  a  machine  ;  it  is  assuredly  not  con- 
structed with  a  view  to  one  end  ;  we  invest  it  with 
far  too  high  an  honour  with  the  word  "  machine." 
Let  us  be  on  our  guard  against  supposing  that 
anything  so  methodical  as  the  cyclic  motions  of 
our  neighbouring  stars  obtains  generally  and 
throughout  the  universe;   indeed  a  glance  at  the 


Milky  Way  induces  doubt  as  to  whether  there  are 
not  many  cruder  and  more  contradictory  motions 
there,  and  even  stars  with  continuous,  rectilinearly 
gravitating  orbits,  and  the  Hke.    The  astral  arrange- 
ment  in   which   we    live    is    an    exception;    this 
arrangement,   and   the   relatively   long    durability 
which  is  determined  by  it,  has  again  made  possible 
the   exception    of   exceptions,   the    formation    of 
organic  life.     The  general  character  of  the  world, 
on  the  other  hand,  is  to  all  eternity  chaos  ;  not  by 
the  absence  of  necessity,  but  in  the  sense  of  the 
absence  of  order,  structure,  form,  beauty,  wisdom, 
and   whatever   else   our    aesthetic    humanities   are 
called.     Judged  by  our  reason,  the  unlucky  casts 
are  far  oftenest  the  rule,  the  exceptions  are  not  the 
secret  purpose  ;  and  the  whole  musical  box  repeats 
eternally  its  air,  which  can  never  be  called  a  melody, 
—and  finally  the  very  expression,  "  unlucky  cast " 
is  already  an  anthropomorphising  which  involves 
blame.     But  how  could  we  presume  to  blame  or 
praise    the    universe!     Let   us   be   on   our   guard 
against  ascribing  to  it  heartlessness  and  unreason, 
or  their  opposites  ;  it  is  neither  perfect,  nor  beauti- 
ful, nor  noble ;  nor  does  it  seek  to  be  anything  of 
the   kind,  it  does   not  at  all   attempt  to  imitate 
man  !     It  is  altogether  unaffected  by  our  aesthetic 
and  moral  judgments!     Neither  has  it  any  self- 
preservative   instinct,  nor  instinct   at   all ;   it   also 
knows  no  law.     Let  us  be  on  our  guard   against 
saying  that  there  are  laws  in  nature.     There  are 
only  necessities :  there  is  no  one  who  commands, 
no    one  who    obeys,    no    one   who    transgresses. 
When  you  know  that  there  is  no  design,  you  know 


also  that  there  is  no  chance:  for  it  is  only 
where  there  is  a  world  of  design  that  the  word 
"  chance  "  has  a  meaning.  Let  us  be  on  our  guard 
against  saying  that  death  is  contrary  to  life.  The 
living  being  is  only  a  species  of  dead  being,  and 
a  very  rare  species.  —  Let  us  be  on  our  guard 
against  thinking  that  the  world  eternally  creates 
the  new.  There  are  no  eternally  enduring 
substances  ;  matter  is  just  another  such  error  as 
the  God  of  the  Eleatics.  But  when  shall  we  be  at 
an  end  with  our  foresight  and  precaution !  When 
will  all  these  shadows  of  God  cease  to  obscure  us  ? 
When  shall  we  have  nature  entirely  undeified ! 
When  shall  we  be  permitted  to  naturalise  our- 
selves by  means  of  the  pure,  newly  discovered, 
newly  redeemed  nature  ? 


Origin  of  Knowledge. — Throughout  immense 
stretches  of  time  the  intellect  produced  nothing 
but  errors  ;  some  of  them  proved  to  be  useful  and 
preservative  of  the  species :  he  who  fell  in  with 
them,  or  inherited  them,  waged  the  battle  for  him- 
self and  his  offspring  with  better  success.  Those 
erroneous  articles  of  faith  which  were  successively 
transmitted  by  inheritance,  and  have  finally  become 
almost  the  property  and  stock  of  the  human 
species,  are,  for  example,  the  following  : — that  there 
are  enduring  things,  that  there  are  equal  things, 
that  there  are  things,  substances,  and  bodies,  that 
a  thing  is  what  it  appears,  that  our  will  is  free, 
that  what  is  good  for  me  is  also  good  abso- 
lutely.    It  was  only  very  late  that  the  deniers  and 


doubters  of  such  propositions  came  forward, — 
it  was  only  very  late  that  truth  made  its  appear- 
ance as  the  most  impotent  form  of  knowledge.  It 
seemed  as  if  it  were  impossible  to  get  along  with 
truth,  our  organism  was  adapted  for  the  very 
opposite;  all  its  higher  functions,  the  perceptions 
of  the  senses,  and  in  general  every  kind  of  sensation, 
co-operated  with  those  primevally  embodied,  funda- 
mental errors.  Moreover,  those  propositions  became 
the  very  standards  of  knowledge  according  to  which 
the  "  true "  and  the  "  false "  were  determined — 
throughout  the  whole  domain  of  pure  logic.  The 
strength  of  conceptions  does  not,  therefore,  depend 
on  their  degree  of  truth,  but  on  their  antiquity, 
their  embodiment,  their  character  as  conditions  of 
life.  Where  life  and  knowledge  seemed  to  con- 
flict, there  has  never  been  serious  contention ; 
denial  and  doubt  have  there  been  regarded 
as  madness.  The  exceptional  thinkers  like  the 
Eleatics,  who,  in  spite  of  this,  advanced  and  main- 
tained the  antitheses  of  the  natural  errors,  believed 
that  it  was  possible  also  to  live  these  counterparts  : 
it  was  they  who  devised  the  sage  as  the  man 
of  immutability,  impersonality  and  universality  of 
intuition,  as  one  and  all  at  the  same  time,  with 
a  special  faculty  for  that  reverse  kind  of  knowledge ; 
they  were  of  the  belief  that  their  knowledge  was 
at  the  same  time  the  principle  of  life.  To  be  able 
to  afiirm  all  this,  however,  they  had  to  deceive  them- 
selves concerning  their  own  condition :  they  had 
to  attribute  to  themselves  impersonality  and  un- 
changing permanence,  they  had  to  mistake  the 
nature  of  the  philosophic  individual,  deny  the  force 


of  the  impulses  in  cognition,  and  conceive  of  reason 
generally  as  an  entirely  free  and  self-originating 
activity ;  they  kept  their  eyes  shut  to  the  fact  that 
they  also  had  reached  their  doctrines  in  contradiction 
to  valid  methods,  or  through  their  longing  for  repose 
or  for  exclusive  possession  or  for  domination.     The 
subtler  development  of  sincerity  and  of  scepticism 
finally  made  these  men  impossible ;  their  life  also, 
and  their  judgments,  turned  out  to  be  dependent 
on  the  primeval  impulses  and  fundamental  errors 
of  all  sentient  being. — The  subtler  sincerity  and 
scepticism  arose  wherever  two  antithetical  maxims 
appeared  to  be  applicable  to  life,  because  both  of 
them  were  compatible  with  the  fundamental  errors  ; 
where,  therefore,  there   could   be  contention  con- 
cerning a  higher  or  lower  degree  of  utility  for  life  ; 
and  likewise  where  new  maxims  proved  to  be,  not 
necessarily  useful,  but  at  least  not  injurious,  as  ex- 
pressions of  an  intellectual  impulse  to  play  a  game 
that  was    like   all    games    innocent    and    happy. 
The  human  brain  was  gradually  filled  with  such 
judgments   and  convictions ;   and  in  this  tangled 
skein  there  arose  ferment,  strife  and  lust  for  power. 
Not  only  utility  and  delight,  but  every  kind  of 
impulse  took  part  in  the  struggle  for  "  truths  "  :  the 
intellectual  struggle  became  a  business,  an  attrac- 
tion, a  calling,  a  duty,  an  honour — :  cognizing  and 
striving  for  the  true  finally  arranged  themselves  as 
needs   among  other  needs.     From   that   moment, 
not  only  belief  and  conviction,  but  also  examination, 
denial,  distrust  and  contradiction  became  forces ; 
all  "  evil  "  instincts  were   subordinated   to   know- 
ledge, were  placed  in  its  service,  and  acquired  the 


prestige  of  the  permitted,  the  honoured,  the  useful, 
and  finally  the  appearance  and  innocence  of  the 
good.  Knowledge,  thus  became  a  portion  of  life 
itself,  and  as  life  it  became  a  continually  growing 
power:  until  finally  the  cognitions  and  those 
primeval,  fundamental  errors  clashed  with  each 
other,  both  as  life,  both  as  power,  both  in  the 
same  man.  The  thinker  is  now  the  being  in 
whom  the  impulse  to  truth  and  those  life- 
preserving  errors  wage  their  first  conflict,  now 
that  the  impulse  to  truth  has  also  proved  itself 
to  be  a  life-preserving  power.  In  comparison  with 
the  importance  of  this  conflict  everything  else  is 
indifferent ;  the  final  question  concerning  the  con- 
ditions of  life  is  here  raised,  and  the  first  attempt 
is  here  made  to  answer  it  by  experiment.  How 
far  is  truth  susceptible  of  embodiment? — that  is 
the  question,  that  is  the  experiment. 


Origin  of  the  Logical. — Where  has  logic  origin- 
ated in  men's  heads?  Undoubtedly  out  of  the 
illogical,  the  domain  of  which  must  originally 
lave  been  immense.  But  numberless  beings  who 
reasoned  otherwise  than  we  do  at  present,  perished  ; 
albeit  that  they  may  have  come  nearer  to  truth 
than  we !  Whoever,  for  example,  could  not  discern 
the  "  like "  often  enough  with  regard  to  food,  and 
with  regard  to  animals  dangerous  to  him,  whoever, 
therefore,  deduced  too  slowly,  or  was  too  circum- 
spect in  his  deductions,  had  smaller  probability  of 
survival  than  he  who  in  all  similar  cases  immedi- 
ately divined   the  equality.     The   preponderating 


inclination,  however,  to  deal  with  the  similar  as  f\ 
the  equal — an  illogical  inclination,  for  there  is  no- 
thing e:qual  in  itself — first  created  the  whole  basis 
of  logic.  It  was  just  so  (in  order  that  the  con- 
ception of  substance  should  originate,  this  being 
indispensable  to  logic,  although  in  the  strictest 
sense  nothing  actual  corresponds  to  it)  that  for  a 
long  period  the  changing  process  in  things  had  to 
be  overlooked,  and  remain  unperceived  ;  the  beings 
not  seeing  correctly  had  an  advantage  over  those 
who  saw  everything  "  in  flux."  In  itself  every 
high  degree  of  circumspection  in  conclusions,  every 
sceptical  inclination,  is  a  great  danger  to  life.  No 
living  being  might  have  been  preserved  unless  the 
contrary  inclination — to  affirm  rather  than  suspend 
judgment,  to  mistake  and  fabricate  rather  than  wait, 
to  assent  rather  than  deny,  to  decide  rather  than 
be  in  the  right — had  been  cultivated  with  extra- 
ordinary assiduity. — The  course  of  logical  thought 
and  reasoning  in  our  modern  brain  corresponds  to 
a  process  and  struggle  of  impulses,  which  singly 
and  in  themselves  are  all  very  illogical  and  un- 
just ;  we  experience  usually  only  the  result  of  the 
struggle,  so  rapidly  and  secretly  does  this  primitive 
mechanism  now  operate  in  us. 


Cause  and  Effect. — We  say  it  is  "  explanation  "  ; 
but  it  is  only  in  "description"  that  we  are  in 
advance  of  the  older  stages  of  knowledge  and 
science.  We  describe  better, — we  explain  just  as 
little  as  our  predecessors.  We  have  discovered  a 
manifold   succession   where   the   naive   man    and 


investigator  of  older  cultures  saw  only  two  things, 
"  cause  "  and  "  effect,"  as  it  was  said ;  we  have  per- 
fected the  conception  of  becoming,  but  have  not 
got  a  knowledge  of  what  is  above  and  behind  the 
conception.  The  series  of  "  causes  "  stands  before 
us  much  more  complete  in  every  case  ;  we  conclude 
that  this  and  that  must  first  precede  in  order  that 
that  other  may  follow — but  we  have  not  grasped 
anything  thereby.  The  peculiarity,  for  example,  in 
every  chemical  process  seems  a  "  miracle,"  the  same 
as  before,  just  like  all  locomotion ;  nobody  has 
"  explained  "  impulse.  How  could  we  ever  explain ! 
We  operate  only  with  things  which  do  not  exist, 
with  lines,  surfaces,  bodies,  atoms,  divisible  times, 
divisible  spaces — how  can  explanation  ever  be 
possible  when  we  first  make  everything  a  conception, 
our  conception  !  It  is  sufficient  to  regard  science 
as  the  exactest  humanising  of  things  that  is 
possible ;  we  always  learn  to  describe  ourselves 
more  accurately  by  describing  things  and  their 
successions.  Cause  and  effect:  there  is  probably 
never  any  such  duality ;  in  fact  there  is  a  continuum 
before  us,  from  which  we  isolate  a  few  portions  ; — 
just  as  we  always  observe  a  motion  as  isolated 
points,  and  therefore  do  not  properly  see  it,  but 
infer  it.  The  abruptness  with  which  many  effects 
take  place  leads  us  into  error ;  it  is  however  only 
an  abruptness  for  us.  There  is  an  infinite  multitude 
of  processes  in  that  abrupt  moment  which  escape 
us.  An  intellect  which  could  see  cause  and  effect 
as  a  continuum,  which  could  see  the  flux  of  events 
not  according  to  our  mode  of  perception,  as  things 
arbitrarily  separated  and  broken — would  throw  aside 


the  conception  of  cause  and  effect,  and  would  deny 
all  conditionality. 


The  Theory  of  Poisons. — So  many  things  have 
to  be  united  in  order  that  scientific  thinking  may 
arise,  and  all  the  necessary  powers  must  have 
been  devised,  exercised,  and  fostered  singly !  In 
their  isolation,  however,  they  have  very  often  had 
quite  a  different  effect  than  at  present,  when  they 
are  confined  within  the  limits  of  scientific  thinking 
and  kept  mutually  in  check  : — they  have  operated 
as  poisons  ;  for  example,  the  doubting  impulse,  the 
denying  impulse,  the  waiting  impulse,  the  collect- 
ing impulse,  the  disintegrating  impulse.  Many 
hecatombs  of  men  were  sacrificed  ere  these  impulses 
learned  to  understand  their  juxtaposition  and 
regard  themselves  as  functions  of  one  organising 
force  in  one  man  !  And  how  far  are  we  still  from 
the  point  at  which  the  artistic  powers  and  the  prac- 
tical wisdom  of  life  shall  co-operate  with  scientific 
thinking,  so  that  a  higher  organic  system  may  be 
formed,  in  relation  to  which  the  scholar,  the  physi- 
cian, the  artist,  and  the  lawgiver,  as  we  know  them 
at  present,  will  seem  sorry  antiquities  ! 


The  Extent  of  the  Moral. — We  construct  a  new 
picture,  which  we  see  immediately  with  the  aid 
of  all  the  old  experiences  which  we  have  had, 
always  according  to  the  degree  of  our  honesty  and 
justice.  The  only  experiences  are  moral  experi- 
ences, even  in  the  domain  of  sense-perception. 



The  Four  Errors. — Man  has  been  reared  by  his 
errors :  firstly,  he  saw  himself  always  imperfect ; 
secondly,  he  attributed  to  himself  imaginary 
qualities  ;  thirdly,  he  felt  himself  in  a  false  position 
in  relation  to  the  animals  and  nature  ;  fourthly,  he 
always  devised  new  tables  of  values,  and  accepted 
them  for  a  time  as  eternal  and  unconditioned,  so 
that  at  one  time  this,  and  at  another  time  that 
human  impulse  or  state  stood  first,  and  was  en- 
nobled in  consequence.  When  one  has  deducted 
the  effect  of  these  four  errors,  one  has  also  deducted 
humanity,  humaneness,  and  "  human  dignity." 


Herd-Instinct.  —  Wherever  we  meet  with  a 
morality  we  find  a  valuation  and  order  of  rank 
of  the  human  impulses  and  activities.  These 
valuations  and  orders  of  rank  are  always  the 
expression  of  the  needs  of  a  community  or  herd : 
that  which  is  in  the  first  place  to  its  advantage — 
and  in  the  second  place  and  third  place — is  also 
the  authoritative  standard  for  the  worth  of  every 
individual.  By  morality  the  individual  is  taught 
to  become  a  function  of  the  herd,  and  to  ascribe  to 
himself  value  only  as  a  function.  As  the  condi- 
tions for  the  maintenance  of  one  community  have 
been  very  different  from  those  of  another  com- 
munity, there  have  been  very  different  moralities ; 
and  in  respect  to  the  future  essential  transforma- 
tions of  herds  and  communities,  states  and  societies, 
one  can  prophesy  that  there  will  still  be  very  diver- 


gent   moralities.     Morality  is  the  herd-instinct  in 
the  individual. 


The  Herd's  Sting  of  Conscience. — In  the  longest 
and  remotest  ages  of  the  human  race  there  was 
quite  a  different  sting  of  conscience  from  that  of 
the  present  day.  At  present  one  only  feels  respon- 
sible for  what  one  intends  and  for  what  one  does, 
and  we  have  our  pride  in  ourselves.  All  our  pro- 
fessors of  jurisprudence  start  with  this  sentiment 
of  individual  independence  and  pleasure,  as  if  the 
source  of  right  had  taken  its  rise  here  from  the 
beginning.  But  throughout  the  longest  period  in 
the  life  of  mankind  there  was  nothing  more  terrible 
to  a  person  than  to  feel  himself  independent.  To 
be  alone,  to  feel  independent,  neither  to  obey  nor 
to  rule,  to  represent  an  individual — that  was  no 
pleasure  to  a  person  then,  but  a  punishment ;  he 
was  condemned  "to  be  an  individual."  Freedom 
of  thought  was  regarded  as  discomfort  personified. 
While  we  feel  law  and  regulation  as  constraint  and 
loss,  people  formerly  regarded  egoism  as  a  painful 
thing,  and  a  veritable  evil.  For  a  person  to 
be  himself,  to  value  himself  according  to  his  own 
measure  and  weight — that  was  then  quite  distaste- 
ful. The  inclination  to  such  a  thing  would  have 
been  regarded  as  madness ;  for  all  miseries  and 
terrors  were  associated  with  being  alone.  At  that 
time  the  "  free  will "  had  bad  conscience  in  close 
proximity  to  it ;  and  the  less  independently  a 
person  acted,  the  more  the  herd-instinct,  and  not 
his  personal  character,  expressed  itself  in  his 


conduct,  SO  much  the  more  moral  did  he  esteem 
himself.  All  that  did  injury  to  the  herd,  whether 
the  individual  had  intended  it  or  not,  then  caused 
him  a  sting  of  conscience— and  his  neighbour  like- 
wise, indeed  the  whole  herd  !— It  is  in  this  respect 
that  we  have  most  changed  our  mode  of  thinking. 

Benevolence.— \s  it   virtuous  when  a  cell  trans- 
forms itself  into  the  function  of  a  stronger  cell  ?    It 
must  do  so.    And  is  it  wicked  when  the  stronger  one 
assimilates  the  other?     It  must  do  so  likewise :  it 
is  necessary,  for  it  has  to  have  abundant  indemnity 
and   seeks   to   regenerate  itself.      One  has  there- 
fore to    distinguish   the  instinct  of  appropriation 
and    the   instinct  of    submission   in   benevolence, 
according   as   the    stronger    or    the   weaker    feels 
benevolent.     Gladness  and  covetousness  are  united 
in    the    stronger    person,    who    wants    to    trans- 
form  something   to   his    function:    gladness    and 
desire -to -be -coveted   in   the  weaker  person,  who 
would   like   to   become   a    function.— The   former 
case   is   essentially  pity,  a  pleasant  excitation   of 
the  instinct  of  appropriation  at  the  sight  of  the 
weak:   it   is    to   be    remembered,    however,    that 
"  strong  "  and  "  weak  "  are  relative  conceptions. 

No  Altruism  !—l  see  in  many  men  an  excessive 
impulse  and  delight  in  wanting  to  be  a  function ; 
they  strive  after  it,  and  have  the  keenest  scent 
for  all  those  positions  in  which  precisely  i/iey 
themselves  can  be  functions.     Among  such  persons 


are  those  women  who  transform  themselves  into 
just  that  function  of  a  man  that  is  but  weakly- 
developed  in  him,  and  then  become  his  purse,  or 
his  politics,  or  his  social  intercourse.  Such  beings 
maintain  themselves  best  when  they  insert  them- 
selves in  an  alien  organism ;  if  they  do  not 
succeed  they  become  vexed,  irritated,  and  eat 
themselves  up. 


Health  of  the  Soul. — The  favourite  medico-moral 
formula  (whose  originator  was  Ariston  of  Chios), 
"Virtue  is  the  health  of  the  soul,"  would,  for  all 
practical  purposes,  have  to  be  altered  to  this  : 
"  Thy  virtue  is  the  health  of  thy  soul."  For  there 
is  no  such  thing  as  health  in  itself,  and  all  attempts 
to  define  a  thing  in  that  way  have  lamentably 
failed.  It  is  necessary  to  know  thy  aim,  thy 
horizon,  thy  powers,  thy  impulses,  thy  errors,  and 
especially  the  ideals  and  fantasies  of  thy  soul,  in 
order  to  determine  whathealth.  implies  even  for  thy 
dody.  There  are  consequently  innumerable  kinds  of 
physical  health  ;  and  the  more  one  again  permits 
the  unique  and  unparalleled  to  raise  its  head,  the 
more  one  unlearns  the  dogma  of  the  "  Equality  of 
men,"  so  much  the  more  also  must  the  conception 
of  a  normal  health,  together  with  a  normal  diet  and 
a  normal  course  of  disease,  be  abrogated  by  our 
physicians.  And  then  only  would  it  be  time  to 
turn  our  thoughts  to  the  health  and  disease  of 
the  soul,  and  make  the  special  virtue  of  everyone 
consist  in  its  health ;  but,  to  be  sure,  what  appeared 
as  health  in  one  person  might  appear  as  the  con- 


trary  of  health  in  another.  In  the  end  the  great 
question  might  still  remain  open : — Whether  we 
could  do  without  sickness  for  the  development  of 
our  virtue,  and  whether  our  thirst  for  knowledge 
and  self-knowledge  would  not  especially  need  the 
sickly  soul  as  well  as  the  sound  one ;  in  short, 
whether  the  mere  will  to  health  is  not  a  prejudice, 
a  cowardice,  and  perhaps  an  instance  of  the  subtlest 
barbarism  and  unprogressiveness  ? 


Life  no  Argument. — We  have  arranged  for  our- 
selves a  world  in  which  we  can  live — by  the 
postulating  of  bodies,  lines,  surfaces,  causes  and 
effects,  motion  and  rest,  form  and  content :  without 
these  articles  of  faith  no  one  could  manage  to  live 
at  present  1  But  for  all  that  they  are  still  unproved. 
Life  is  no  argument ;  error  might  be  among  the 
conditions  of  life. 


The  Element  of  Moral  Scepticism  in  Christianity. 
— Christianity  also  has  made  a  great  contribution 
to  enlightenment,  and  has  taught  moral  scepticism 
— in  a  very  impressive  and  effective  manner, 
accusing  and  embittering,  but  with  untiring 
patience  and  subtlety ;  it  annihilated  in  every 
individual  the  belief  in  his  virtues  :  it  made  the 
great  virtuous  ones,  of  whom  antiquity  had  no  lack, 
vanish  for  ever  from  the  earth,  those  popular  men, 
who,  in  the  belief  in  their  perfection,  walked  about 
with  the  dignity  of  a  hero  of  the  bull-fight.  When, 
trained  in  this  Christian  school  of  scepticism,  we 


now  read  the  moral  books  of  the  ancients,  for 
example  those  of  Seneca  and  Epictetus,  we  feel 
a  pleasurable  superiority,  and  are  full  of  secret 
insight  and  penetration, — it  seems  to  us  as  if  a  child 
talked  before  an  old  man,  or  a  pretty,  gushing  girl 
before  La  Rochefoucauld : — we  know  better  what 
virtue  is !  After  all,  however,  we  have  applied  the 
same  scepticism  to  all  religious  states  and  processes, 
such  as  sin,  repentance,  grace,  sanctification,  &c.,  and 
have  allowed  the  worm  to  burrow  so  well,  that  we 
have  now  the  same  feeling  of  subtle  superiority  and 
insight  even  in  reading  all  Christian  books : — we 
know  also  the  religious  feelings  better  !  And  it  is 
time  to  know  them  well  and  describe  them  well, 
for  the  pious  ones  of  the  old  belief  die  out  also ; 
let  us  save  their  likeness  and  type,  at  least  for  the 
sake  of  knowledge. 


Knowledge  more  than  a  Means. — Also  without 
this  passion — I  refer  to  the  passion  for  knowledge 
— science  would  be  furthered :  science  has  hitherto 
increased  and  grown  up  without  it.  The  good 
faith  in  science,  the  prejudice  in  its  favour,  by 
which  States  are  at  present  dominated  (it  was  even 
the  Church  formerly),  rests  fundamentally  on  the 
fact  that  the  absolute  inclination  and  impulse  has 
'so  rarely  revealed  itself  in  it,  and  that  science 
is  regarded  not  as  a  passion,  but  as  a  condition 
and  an  "ethos."  Indeed,  amour-plaisir  of  know- 
ledge (curiosity)  often  enough  suffices,  amour-vaniti 
suffices,  and  habituation  to  it,  with  the  afterthought 
of  obtaining  honour  and  bread ;   it  even  suffices 


for  many  that  they  do  not  know  what  to  do  with 
a  surplus  of  leisure,  except  to  continue  reading, 
collecting,  arranging,  observing  and  narrating  ;  their 
"scientific  impulse"  is  their  ennui.     Pope  Leo  X 
once  (in  the  brief  to  Beroaldus)  sang  the  praise  of 
science;  he  designated  it  as  the  finest  ornament 
and  the  greatest  pride  of  our  life,  a  noble  employ- 
ment in  happiness  and  in  misfortune  ;  "  without  it, 
he  says  finally,  "all  human  undertakings  would  be 
without  a  firm  basis,-even  with  it  they  are  still 
sufficiently  mutable  and  insecure ! "     But  this  rather 
sceptical    Pope,  like  all  other  ecclesiastical   pane- 
gyrists of  science,  suppressed  his  ultimate  judg- 
ment concerning  it.     If  one  may  deduce  from  his 
words  what  is  remarkable  enough  for  such  a  lover 
of  art,  that  he  places  science  above  art,  it  is  alter 
all,  however,  only  from  politeness  that  he  omits  to 
speak  of  that  which  he  places  high  above  all  science  : 
the  "revealed  truth,"  and  the  "eternal  salvation  ot 
the  soul,"-what  are  ornament,  pride,  entertainment 
and  security  of  life  to  him,  in  comparison  thereto? 
"Science  is  something  of  secondary  rank,  nothing 
ultimate  or  unconditioned,  no  object  of  passion  - 
this  judgment  was  kept  back  in  Leo's  soul :   the 
truly  Christian  judgment  concerning  science!     In 
antiquity  its  dignity  and  appreciation  were  lessened 
by    the    fact    that,   even    among   its    most    eager 
disciples,  the  striving  after  virtue  stood  foremost 
and  that  people  thought  they  had  given  the  highest 
praise  to  knowledge  when  they  celebrated  it  as  the 
best   means   to  virtue.     It  is   something   new   in 
history  that  knowledge  claims  to  be  more  than 
a  means. 


In  the  Horizon  of  the  Infinite. — We  have  left  the 
land  and  have  gone  aboard  ship !  We  have  broken 
down  the  bridge  behind  us, — nay,  more,  the  land 
behind  us!  Well,  little  ship!  look  out!  Beside 
thee  is  the  ocean ;  it  is  true  it  does  not  always 
roar,  and  sometimes  it  spreads  out  like  silk  and 
gold  and  a  gentle  reverie.  But  times  will  come 
when  thou  wilt  feel  that  it  is  infinite,  and  that 
there  is  nothing  more  frightful  than  infinity.  Oh, 
the  poor  bird  that  felt  itself  free,  and  now  strikes 
against  the  walls  of  this  cage !  Alas,  if  home- 
sickness for  the  land  should  attack  thee,  as  if  there 
had  been  more  freedom  there, — and  there  is  no 
"  land  "  any  longer ! 

The  Madman,  —  Have  you  ever  heard  of  the 
madman  who  on  a  bright  morning  lighted  a  lantern 
and  ran  to  the  market-place  calling  out  unceasingly : 
"  I  seek  God  !  I  seek  God  !  " — As  there  were  many 
people  standing  about  who  did  not  believe  in  God, 
he  caused  a  great  deal  of  amusement.  Why !  is 
he  lost?  said  one.  Has  he  strayed  away  like  a 
child?  said  another.  Or  does  he  keep  himself 
hidden  ?  Is  he  afraid  of  us  ?  Has  he  taken  a  sea- 
voyage?  Has  he  emigrated? — the  people  cried 
out  laughingly,  all  in  a  hubbub.  The  insane  man 
jumped  into  their  midst  and  transfixed  them  with 
his  glances.  "  Where  is  God  gone  ? "  he  called  out. 
"  I  mean  to  tell  you !  We  have  killed  him, — you 
and  I !  We  are  all  his  murderers !  But  how  have 
we  done  it?     How  were  we  able  to  drink  up  the 


sea  ?  Who  gave  us  the  sponge  to  wipe  away  the 
whole  horizon  ?  What  did  we  do  when  we  loosened 
this  earth  from  its  sun?  Whither  does  it  now 
move?  Whither  do  we  move?  Away  from  all 
suns?  Do  we  not  dash  on  unceasingly?  Back- 
wards, sideways,  forewards,  in  all  directions?  Is 
there  still  an  above  and  below  ?  Do  we  not  stray, 
as  through  infinite  nothingness  ?  Does  not  empty 
space  breathe  upon  us  ?  Has  it  not  become  colder  ? 
Does  not  night  come  on  continually,  darker  and 
darker?  Shall  we  not  have  to  light  lanterns  in 
the  morning?  Do  we  not  hear  the  noise  of  the 
grave-diggers  who  are  burying  God  ?  Do  we  not 
smell  the  divine  putrefaction?  —  for  even  Gods 
putrefy !  God  is  dead  !  God  remains  dead  !  And 
we  have  killed  him !  How  shall  we  console  our- 
selves, the  most  murderous  of  all  murderers  ?  The 
holiest  and  the  mightiest  that  the  world  has  hitherto 
possessed,  has  bled  to  death  under  our  knife, — who 
will  wipe  the  blood  from  us?  With  what  water 
could  we  cleanse  ourselves  ?  What  lustrums,  what 
sacred  games  shall  we  have  to  devise?  Is  not  the 
magnitude  of  this  deed  too  great  for  us  ?  Shall  we 
not  ourselves  have  to  become  Gods,  merely  to  seem 
worthy  of  it  ?  There  never  was  a  greater  event, — 
and  on  account  of  it,  all  who  are  born  after  us 
belong  to  a  higher  history  than  any  history 
hitherto!"  —  Here  the  madman  was  silent  and 
looked  again  at  his  hearers ;  they  also  were  silent 
and  looked  at  him  in  surprise.  At  last  he  threw 
his  lantern  on  the  ground,  so  that  it  broke  in 
pieces  and  was  extinguished.  "  I  come  too  early," 
he  then  said, "  I  am  not  yet  at  the  right  time.    This 


prodigious  event  is  still  on  its  way,  and  is  travelling, 
— it  has  not  yet  reached  men's  ears.  Lightning 
and  thunder  need  time,  the  light  of  the  stars  needs 
time,  deeds  need  time,  even  after  they  are  done,  to 
be  seen  and  heard.  This  deed  is  as  yet  further 
from  them  than  the  furthest  star, — and  yet  they  have 
done  it!'' — It  is  further  stated  that  the  madman 
made  his  way  into  different  churches  on  the  same 
day,  and  there  intoned  his  Requiem  aeternam  deo. 
When  led  out  and  called  to  account,  he  always  gave 
the  reply :  "  What  are  these  churches  now,  if  they 
are  not  the  tombs  and  monuments  of  God  ?  " — 


Mystical  Explanations. — Mystical  explanations 
are  regarded  as  profound  ;  the  truth  is  that  they  do 
not  even  go  the  length  of  being  superficial. 


After-Effect  of  the  most  Ancient  Religiousness. — 
The  thoughtless  man  thinks  that  the  Will  is  the 
only  thing  that  operates,  that  willing  is  something 
simple,  manifestly  given,  underived,  and  comprehen- 
sible in  itself  He  is  convinced  that  when  he  does 
anything,  for  example,  when  he  delivers  a  blow, 
it  is  he  who  strikes,  and  he  has  struck  because 
he  willed  to  strike.  He  does  not  notice  any- 
thing of  a  problem  therein,  but  the  feeling  of 
willing  suffices  to  him,  not  only  for  the  acceptance 
of  cause  and  effect,  but  also  for  the  belief  that  he 
understands  their  relationship.  Of  the  mechanism 
of  the  occurrence,  and  of  the  manifold  subtle  opera- 


tions  that  must  be  performed  in  order  that  the 
blow  may  result,  and  likewise  of  the  incapacity 
of  the  Will  in  itself  to  effect  even  the  smallest  part 
of  those  operations — he  knows  nothing.  The  Will 
is  to  him  a  magically  operating  force;  the  belief 
in  the  Will  as  the  cause  of  effects  is  the  belief  in 
magically  operating  forces.  In  fact,  whenever  he  saw 
anything  happen,  man  originally  believed  in  a  Will 
as  cause,  and  in  personally  willing  beings  operating 
in  the  background, — the  conception  of  mechanism 
was  very  remote  from  him.  Because,  however,  man 
for  immense  periods  of  time  believed  only  in 
persons  (and  not  in  matter,  forces,  things,  &c.), 
the  belief  in  cause  and  effect  has  become  a  funda- 
mental belief  with  him,  which  he  applies  every- 
where when  anything  happens, — and  even  still  uses 
instinctively  as  a  piece  of  atavism  of  remotest  origin. 
The  propositions,  "  No  effect  without  a  cause,"  and 
"  Every  effect  again  implies  a  cause,"  appear  as 
generalisations  of  several  less  general  propositions : 
— "Where  there  is  operation  there  has  been  willing" 
"Operating  is  only  possible  on  willing  beings." 
"There  is  never  a  pure,  resultless  experience  of 
activity,  but  every  experience  involves  stimulation 
of  the  Will "  (to  activity,  defence,  revenge  or  retalia- 
tion). But  in  the  primitive  period  of  the  human 
race,  the  latter  and  the  former  propositions  were 
identical,  the  first  were  not  generalisations  of  the 
second,  but  the  second  were  explanations  of  the 
first. — Schopenhauer,  with  his  assumption  that  all 
that  exists  is  something  volitional,  has  set  a  primi- 
tive mythology  on  the  throne ;  he  seems  never  to 
have  attempted  an   analysis  of  the  Will,  because 


he  believed  like  everybody  in  the  simph'city  and 
immediateness  of  all  volition  : — while  volition  is 
in  fact  such  a  cleverly  practised  mechanical  process 
that  it  almost  escapes  the  observing  eye.  I  set  the 
following  propositions  against  those  of  Schopen- 
hauer:— Firstly,  in  order  that  Will  may  arise,  an 
idea  of  pleasure  and  pain  is  necessary.  Secondly, 
that  a  vigorous  excitation  may  be  felt  as  pleasure 
or  pain,  is  the  affair  of  the  interpreting  intellect, 
which,  to  be  sure,  operates  thereby  for  the  most  part 
unconsciously  to  us,  and  one  and  the  same  excita- 
tion may  be  interpreted  as  pleasure  or  pain.  Thirdly, 
it  is  only  in  an  intellectual  being  that  there  is 
pleasure,  displeasure  and  Will;  the  immense 
majority  of  organisms  have  nothing  of  the  kind. 

The  Value  of  Prayer.—? xd^y^r  has  been  devised 
for  such  men  as  have  never  any  thoughts  of  their 
own,  and  to  whom  an  elevation  of  the  soul  is  un- 
known,  or   passes    unnoticed;    what   shall    these 
people  do  in  holy  places  and  in  all  important  situa- 
tions in  life  which  require  repose  and  some  kind  of 
dignity  ?     In  order  at  least  that  they  may  not  dis- 
turb, the  wisdom  of  all  the  founders  of  religions,  the 
small  as  well  as  the  great,  has  commended  to  them 
the  formula  of  prayer,  as  a  long  mechanical  labour 
of  the  lips,  united  with  an  effort  of  the  memory, 
and  with  a  uniform,  prescribed  attitude  of  hands' 
and   feet— ««^  eyes!     They   may  then,   like   the 
Tibetans,  chew  the  cud  of  their  '' om  mane  padme 
hum;'  innumerable  times,  or,  as  in  Benares,  count 
the  name  of  the  God  Ram-Ram-Ram  (etc.,  with  or 


without  grace)  on  their  fingers  ;  or  honour  Vishnu 
with  his  thousand  names  of  invocation,  Allah  with 
his  ninety-nine ;    or  they  may   make  use  of  the 
prayer-wheels  and  the  rosary  :  the  main  thing  is 
that  they   are   settled   down   for   a  time    at  this 
work,  and  present  a  tolerable  appearance;   their 
mode  of  prayer  is  devised   for  the   advantage  of 
the  pious  who  have  thought  and  elevation  of  their 
own.     But  even  these  have  their  weary  hours  when 
a   series  of  venerable   words   and    sounds,  and   a 
mechanical,  pious  ritual  does  them  good.    But  sup- 
posing that  these  rare  men— in  every  religion  the 
religious  man  is  an  exception — know  how  to  help 
themselves,  the  poor  in  spirit  do  not  know,  and 
to  forbid  them  the  prayer-babbling  would  mean 
to  take  their   religion   from   them,  a   fact  which 
Protestantism  brings  more  and  more  to  light.     All 
that  religion  wants  with  such  persons  is  that  they 
should  keep  still  with  their  eyes,  hands,  legs,  and 
all  their  organs  :  they  thereby  become  temporarily 
beautified  and— more  human-looking  1 


The  Conditions  for  God.—''  God  himself  cannot 
subsist  without  wise  men,"  said  Luther,  and  with 
good  reason  ;  but  "  God  can  still  less  subsist  with- 
out unwise  men,"— good  Luther  did  not  say  that ! 

A  Dangerous  Resolution.— 1\^^  Christian  resolu- 
tion to  find  the  world  ugly  and  bad,  has  made  the 
world  ugly  and  bad. 




Christianity  and  Suicide. — Christianity  made  use 
of  the  excessive  longing  for  suicide  at  the  time  of 
its  origin  as  a  lever  for  its  power :  it  left  only  two 
forms  of  suicide,  invested  them  with  the  highest 
dignity  and  the  highest  hopes,  and  forbade  all 
others  with  dreadful  threatenings.  But  martyrdom 
and  the  slow  self-annihilation  of  the  ascetic  were 


Against  Christianity. — It  is  now  no  longer  our 
reason,  but  our  taste  that  decides  against 


Axioms. — An  unavoidable  hypothesis  on  which 
mankind  must  always  fall  back  again,  is  in  the 
long  run  more  powerful  than  the  most  firmly 
believed  belief  in  something  untrue  (like  the 
Christian  belief).  In  the  long  run:  that  means 
a  hundred  thousand  years  hence. 

Pessimists  as  Victims. — When  a  profound  dislike 
of  existence  gets  the  upper  hand,  the  after-effect 
of  a  great  error  in  diet  of  which  a  people  has  been 
long  guilty  comes  to  light.  The  spread  of  Buddhism 
{not  its  origin)  is  thus  to  a  considerable  extent 
dependent  on  the  excessive  and  almost  exclusive 
rice-fare  of  the  Indians,  and  on  the  universal 
enervation  that  results  therefrom.  Perhaps  the 
modern,  European  discontentedness  is  to  be  looked 


upon  as  caused  by  the  fact  that  the  world  of  our 
forefathers,  the  whole  Middle  Ages,  was  given  to 
drink,  owing  to  the  influence  of  German  tastes  in 
Europe  :  the  Middle  Ages,  that  means  the  alcoholic 
poisonmg  of  Europe.— The  German  dislike  of  life 
(mcludmg  the  influence  of  the  cellar-air  and  stove- 
poison  in  German  dwellings),  is  essentially  a  cold- 
weather  complaint. 

^     135. 
Origin  of   5/«.-Sin,   as  it  is   at   present   felt 
wherever  Christianity  prevails  or  has  prevailed   is 
a  Jewish  feeling  and  a  Jewish  invention ;    and'  in 
respect  to  this  background  of  all  Christian  morality 
Christianity  has  in  fact  aimed  at  "Judaising"  the 
whole  world.     To  what  an   extent  this   has  suc- 
ceeded in  Europe  is  traced  most  accurately  in  our 
remarkable  alienness  to  Greek  antiquity— a  world 
without  the  feeling  of  sin— in  our  sentiments  even 
at  present ;  in  spite  of  all  the  good  will  to  approxi- 
mation and  assimilation,  which  whole  generations 
and    many    distinguished    individuals    have    not 
failed  to  display.     "Only  when  thou  repentest  is 
God    gracious   to   thee"— that   would   arouse  the 
laughter  or  the  wrath  of  a  Greek  :    he  would  say, 
"Slaves    may   have    such    sentiments."      Here    a 
mighty  being,  an  almighty   being,  and   yet  a  re- 
vengeful being,  is  presupposed  ;    his  power  is  so 
great  that  no  injury  whatever  can  be  done  to  him 
except  in  the  point  of  honour.     Every  sin  is  an 
infringement  of  respect,  a  crimen  IcescB  majestatis 
dzvtn<s— and  nothing  more !     Contrition,  degrada- 
tion,  rolling-in-the-dust,— these  are  the   first  and 


last  conditions  on  which  his  favour  depends :  the 
restoration,  therefore,  of  his  divine  honour!  If 
injury  be  caused  otherwise  by  sin,  if  a  profound, 
spreading  evil  be  propagated  by  it,  an  evil  which, 
like  a  disease,  attacks  and  strangles  one  man  after 
another — that  does  not  trouble  this  honour-craving 
Oriental  in  heaven ;  sin  is  an  offence  against  him, 
not  against  mankind ! — to  him  on  whom  he  has 
bestowed  his  favour  he  bestows  also  this  indiffer- 
ence to  the  natural  consequences  of  sin.  God 
and  mankind  are  here  thought  of  as  separated,, 
as  so  antithetical  that  sin  against  the  latter  cannot . 
be  at  all  possible, — all  deeds  are  to  be  looked  upon  " 
solely  with  respect  to  their  supernatural  consequences,  . 
and  not  with  respect  to  their  natural  results :  it  is 
thus  that  the  Jewish  feeling,  to  which  all  that  is 
natural  seems  unworthy  in  itself,  would  have  things. 
The  Greeks,  on  the  other  hand,  were  more  familiar 
with  the  thought  that  transgression  also  may  have 
dignity, — even  theft,  as  in  the  case  of  Prometheus, 
even  the  slaughtering  of  cattle  as  the  expression  of 
frantic  jealousy,  as  in  the  case  of  Ajax ;  in  their 
need  to  attribute  dignity  to  transgression  and 
embody  it  therein,  they  invented  tragedy, — an  art 
and  a  delight,  which  in  its  profoundest  essence 
has  remained  alien  to  the  Jew,  in  spite  of  all  his 
poetic  endowment  and  taste  for  the  sublime. 


The  Chosen  People. — The  Jews,  who  regard  them- 
selves as  the  chosen  people  among  the  nations,  and 
that  too  because  they  are  the  moral  genius  among 
the  nations  (in  virtue  of  their  capacity  for  despising 


the  human  in  themselves  more  than  any  other 
people)— the  Jews  have  a  pleasure  in  their  divine 
monarch  and  saint  similar  to  that  which  the  French 
nobility  had  in  Louis  XIV.  This  nobility  had 
allowed  its  power  and  autocracy  to  be  taken  from 
it,  and  had  become  contemptible :  in  order  not  to 
feel  this,  in  order  to  be  able  to  forget  it,  an  un- 
equalled royal  magnificence,  royal  authority  and 
plenitude  of  power  was  needed,  to  which  there  was 
access  only  for  the  nobility.  As  in  accordance 
with  this  privilege  they  raised  themselves  to  the 
elevation  of  the  court,  and  from  that  elevation  saw 
everything  under  them, — saw  everything  con- 
temptible,— they  got  beyond  all  uneasiness  of  con- 
science. They  thus  elevated  intentionally  the 
tower  of  the  royal  power  more  and  more  into  the 
clouds,  and  set  the  final  coping-stone  of  their  own 
power  thereon. 

Spoken  in  Parable. — A  Jesus  Christ  was  only 
possible  in  a  Jewish  landscape — I  mean  in  one 
over  which  the  gloomy  and  sublime  thunder-cloud 
of  the  angry  Jehovah  hung  continually.  Here  only 
was  the  rare,  sudden  flashing  of  a  single  sunbeam 
through  the  dreadful,  universal  and  continuous 
nocturnal-day  regarded  as  a  miracle  of  "love," 
as  a  beam  of  the  most  unmerited  "  grace."  Here 
only  could  Christ  dream  of  his  rainbow  and 
celestial  ladder  on  which  God  descended  to  man ; 
everywhere  else  the  clear  weather  and  the  sun 
were  considered  the  rule  and  the  commonplace. 


The  Error  of  Christ— ThQ  founder  of  Christianity 
thought  there  was  nothing  from  which  men  suffered 
so  much  as  from  their  sins : — it  was  his  error,  the 
error  of  him  who  felt  himself  without  sin,  to  whom 
experience  was  lacking  in  this  respect!  It  was 
thus  that  his  soul  filled  with  that  marvellous, 
fantastic  pity  which  had  reference  to  a  trouble  that 
even  among  his  own  people,  the  inventors  of  sin, 
was  rarely  a  great  trouble !  But  Christians  under- 
stood subsequently  how  to  do  justice  to  their  master, 
and  how  to  sanctify  his  error  into  a  "  truth." 

Colour  of  the  Passio7is. — Natures  such  as  the 
apostle  Paul,  have  an  evil  eye  for  the  passions; 
they  learn  to  know  only  the  filthy,  the  distorting, 
and  the  heart-breaking  in  them,— their  ideal  aim, 
therefore,  is  the  annihilation  of  the  passions  ;  in  the 
divine  they  see  complete  purification  from  passion. 
The  Greeks,  quite  otherwise  than  Paul  and  the 
Jews,  directed  their  ideal  aim  precisely  to  the 
passions,  and  loved,  elevated,  embellished  and  deified 
them  :  in  passion  they  evidently  not  only  felt  them- 
selves happier,  but  also  purer  and  diviner  than 
otherwise.— And  now  the  Christians  ?  Have  they 
wished  to  become  Jews  in  this  respect?  Have 
they  perhaps  become  Jews  ? 

Too  fewish.~U  God  had  wanted  to  become  an 
object  of  love,  he  would  first  of  all  have  had  to 



forgo  judging  and  justice  :-a  judge,  and  even 
gracious  judge,  is  no  object  of  love.     The  founder 
of  Christianity  showed  too  h'ttle  of  the  finer  fedings 
in  this  respect— being  a  Jew. 


Too  Onen^al-Wh^t?  A  God  who  loves  men 
frf^M  !  '  ^hey  believe  in  him,  and  who  hurls' 
frightful  glances  and  threatenings  at  him  who  does 
not  believe  m  this  love!  What?  A  conditioned 
love  as  the  feeling  of  an  almighty  God !  A  love 
which  has  not  even  become  master  of  the  sentiment 
of  honour  and  of  the  irritable  desire  for  vengeance  f 
How  Oriental  is  all  that !  « If  I  love  thee,  what  does 
It  concern  thee  ?"  *  is  already  a  sufficient  criticism 
ot  the  whole  of  Christianity. 

Fmnh-ncmse.~Buddha   says:    "Do   not   flatter 
thy  benefactor  ! "     Let  one  repeat  this  saying  in  a 
Christian  church  :-it  immediately  purifies  the  air 
of  all  Christianity. 

^  TAe  Greatest  Utility  of  Pofytkeism.~¥or  the 
individual  to  set  up  his  own  ideal  and  derive  from 
It  his  laws,  his  pleasures  and  his  nghts—that  has 
perhaps  been  hitherto  regarded  as  the  most  mon- 
strous of  all  human  aberrations,  and  as  idolatry  in 
Itself;  in  fact,  the  few  who  have  ventured  to  do  this 
have  always  needed  to   apologise  to  themselves, 

^*  This  means  that  true  love  does  not  look  for  reciprocity. 


usually  in  this  wise :  "  Not  I !  not  I  !  but  a  God, 
through  my  instrumentality ! "  It  was  in  the  mar- 
vellous art  and  capacity  for  creating  Gods — in  poly- 
theism— that  this  impulsewas  permitted  todischarge 
itself,  it  was  here  that  it  became  purified,  perfected, 
and  ennobled  ;  for  it  was  originally  a  commonplace 
and  unimportant  impulse,  akin  to  stubbornness,  dis- 
obedience and  envy.  To  be  hostile  to  this  impulse 
towards  the  individual  ideal, — that  was  formerly  the 
law  of  every  morality.  There  was  then  only  one 
norm,  "  the  man  " — and  every  people  believed  that 
it  had  this  one  and  ultimate  norm.  But  above 
himself,  and  outside  of  himself,  in  a  distant  over- 
world,  a  person  could  see  a  multitude  of  norms :  the 
one  God  was  not  the  denial  or  blasphemy  of  the 
other  Gods  !  It  was  here  that  individuals  were  first 
permitted,  it  was  here  that  the  right  of  individuals 
was  first  respected.  The  inventing  of  Gods,  heroes, 
and  supermen  of  all  kinds,  as  well  as  co-ordinate 
men  and  undermen — dwarfs,  fairies,  centaurs, 
satyrs,  demons,  devils — was  the  inestimable  pre- 
liminary to  the  justification  of  the  selfishness 
and  sovereignty  of  the  individual:  the  freedom 
which  was  granted  to  one  God  in  respect  to  other 
Gods,  was  at  last  given  to  the  individual  himself 
in  respect  to  laws,  customs  and  neighbours. 
Monotheism,  on  the  contrary,  the  rigid  consequence 
of  the  doctrine  of  one  normal  human  being — con- 
sequently the  belief  in  a  normal  God,  beside  whom 
there  are  only  false,  spurious  Gods — has  perhaps 
been  the  greatest  danger  of  mankind  in  the  past : 
man  was  then  threatened  by  that  premature  state 
of  inertia,  which,  so  far  as  we  can  see,  most  of  the 


Other   species    of  animals    reached    long    a^o    ;.. 
creatures  who  all  bel.V^7^r?  ;«  ^    ^  '  ^^ 

and   ideal    r"  .^^.^^^'^""^^  '^  one  normal  animal 

lafeH  hT  r^''    'P^^^^''  ^"^  definitely  trans- 

n  no    .T  "'"'"^''^,  °'  ^"^'°"^  ^'"^°  fl-^h  and  blood 
hinkilC  rT  "^'"  ^  free-thinking  and  many-sided 

^ate  for  hfm'  1^°'^^!,  "^  "^  ^    ^^^  P^--  to 
create  for  himself  new  and  individual  eyes  alwav. 

newer  and  more  individualised:   so  that  ^t  L  fo 

man  alone,  of  all  the  animals,  that  the  re  a  '  - 

^/.r«^/ horizons  and  perspectives.  "° 


rr.  f'^KTu  ^^^-^-The  greatest  advance  of  the 
ma  ses  hitherto  has  been  religious  war.  for  It  profes 
that  the  masses  have  begun  to  deal  reverently  Clth 
conceptions  of  things.  Religious  wars  o'y  felu  t 
when  human  reason  generally  has  been  refined  b'' 
he  s  bt  e  disputes  of  sects  ;  so  that  even  the  popu- 
lace  becomes    punctilious   and   regards   trifles   as 

"tCiiar'r""  f  v"'^^^^ ''  possible  :;fatth 

eternal  salvation  of  the  soul"  niay  deoend  unn^ 
minute  distinctions  of  concepts.   ""^^  "^^^^"^  "P°" 

Danger    of    Vegetanans.  -  The    immense   ore 
valence  of  rice-eating  impels  to  the  us^of  opC 

prevalence    of  potato  -  eating    impels   to   the   use 
of  brandy  :_it  also  impels,  however   in  ilrJ. 
subtle  after-effects  to  modes'of  tLught  and  feSi": 
which  operate  narcotically.     This  is  in  ...^  ^    I 
the  fact  i-h:,f  f  1,^0       u  -^ms  IS  in  accord  with 

tWht  and  f    ,  ^^°,r"^°te  narcotic  modes  of 
thought  and  feeling,  hke  those   Indian  teachers, 


praise  a  purely  vegetable  diet,  and  would  like  to 
make  it  a  law  for  the  masses :  they  want  thereby 
to  call  forth  and  augment  the  need  which  they  are 
in  a  position  to  satisfy. 


German  Hopes.  —  Do  not  let  us  forget  that 
the  names  of  peoples  are  generally  names  of 
reproach.  The  Tartars,  for  example,  according 
to  their  name,  are  "  the  dogs " ;  they  were 
so  christened  by  the  Chinese.  "  Deutschen" 
(Germans)  means  originally  "  heathen  "  :  it  is  thus 
that  the  Goths  after  their  conversion  named 
the  great  mass  of  their  unbaptized  fellow-tribes, 
according  to  the  indication  in  their  translation 
of  the  Septuagint,  in  which  the  heathen  are 
designated  by  the  word  which  in  Greek  signifies 
"  the  nations."  (See  Ulfilas.)— It  might  still  be  pos- 
sible for  the  Germans  to  make  an  honourable  name 
ultimately  out  of  their  old  name  of  reproach,  by 
becoming  the  first  non-Christian  nation  of  Europe  ; 
for  which  purpose  Schopenhauer,  to  their  honour, 
regarded  them  as  highly  qualified.  The  work  of 
Luther  would  thus  be  consummated,— he  who 
taught  them  to  be  anti-Roman,  and  to  say :  "  Here 
/  stand  !     /  cannot  do  otherwise ! " — 

Question  and  Answer. — What  do  savage  tribes 
at  present  accept  first  of  all  from  Europeans? 
Brandy  and  Christianity,  the  European  narcotics. — 
And  by  what  means  are  they  fastest  ruined  ?— By 
the  European  narcotics. 


Where  Reformations  Originate. — At  the  time  of 
the  great  corruption  of  the  church  it  was  least  of 
all  corrupt  in  Germany:  it  was  on  that  account 
that  the  Reformation  originated  here,  as  a  sign 
that  even  the  beginnings  of  corruption  were  felt  to 
be  unendurable.  For,  comparatively  speaking,  no 
people  was  ever  more  Christian  than  the  Germans 
at  the  time  of  Luther  ;  their  Christian  culture  was 
just  about  to  burst  into  bloom  with  a  hundred-fold 
splendour, — one  night  only  was  still  lacking ;  but 
that  night  brought  the  storm  which  put  an  end 
to  all. 

The  Failure  of  Reformations. — It  testifies  to  the 
higher  culture  of  the  Greeks,  even  in  rather  early 
ages,  that  attempts  to  establish  new  Grecian 
religions  frequently  failed  ;  it  testifies  that  quite 
early  there  must  have  been  a  multitude  of  dis- 
similar individuals  in  Greece,  whose  dissimilar 
troubles  were  not  cured  by  a  single  recipe  of  faith 
and  hope.  Pythagoras  and  Plato,  perhaps  also 
Empedocles,  and  already  much  earlier  the  Orphic 
enthusiasts,  aimed  at  founding  new  religions ;  and 
the  two  first-named  were  so  endowed  with  the 
qualifications  for  founding  religions,  that  one  can- 
not be  sufficiently  astonished  at  their  failure :  they 
just  reached  the  point  of  founding  sects.  Every 
time  that  the  Reformation  of  an  entire  people 
fails  and  only  sects  raise  their  heads,  one  may 
conclude  that  the  people  already  contains  many 
types,  and  has  begun  to  free  itself  from  the  gross 


herding  instincts  and  the  morality  of  custom, — a 
momentous  state  of  suspense,  which  one  is  accus- 
tomed   to   disparage    as    decay    of    morals    and 
corruption,   while   it   announces   the   maturing   of 
the  egg  and  the  early  rupture  of  the  shell.     That 
Luther'^  Reformation  succeeded  in  the  north,  is  a 
sign  that  the  north  had  remained  backward  in  com- 
parison with  the  south  of  Europe,  and  still  had 
requirements  tolerably  uniform  in  colour  and  kind  ; 
and  there  would  have  been  no  Christianising  of 
Europe  at  all,  if  the  culture  of  the  old  world  of  the 
south  had  not  been   gradually  barbarized  by  an 
excessive    admixture    of    the    blood    of   German 
barbarians,   and    thus   lost  its    ascendency.     The 
more  universally  and  unconditionally  an  individual, 
or  the  thought  of  an  individual,  can  operate,  so 
much  more  homogeneous  and  so  much  lower  must 
be  the  mass  that  is  there  operated  upon ;    while 
counter-strivings   betray   internal   counter-require- 
ments, which  also  want  to  gratify  and  realise  them- 
selves.    Reversely,  one  may  always  conclude  with 
regard    to   an   actual  elevation   of  culture,   when 
powerful  and   ambitious  natures   only  produce   a 
limited  and  sectarian  effect :  this  is  true  also  for  the 
separate  arts,  and  for  the  provinces  of  knowledge. 
Where  there  is   ruling  there  are  masses:    where 
there  are  masses  there  is  need  of  slavery.     Where 
there  is  slavery  the  individuals  are  but  lew,  and 
have    the   instincts   and   conscience  of   the  herd 
opposed  to  them. 

Criticism  of  Saints. — Must  one  then,  in  order  to 
have  a  virtue,  be  desirous  of  having  it  precisely 


in  its  most  brutal  form?— as  the  Christian  saints 
desired  and  needed  ; — those  who  only  endured  life 
with  the  thought  that  at  the  sight  of  their  virtue 
self-contempt  might  seize  every  man.  A  virtue 
with  such  an  effect  I  call  brutal. 

The  Origin  of  Religion. —  The.  metaphysical 
requirement  is  not  the  origin  of  religions,  as 
Schopenhauer  claims,  but  only  a  later  sprout  from 
them.  Under  the  dominance  of  religious  thoughts 
we  have  accustomed  ourselves  to  the  idea  of 
"  another  (back,  under,  or  upper)  worid,"  and  feel 
an  uncomfortable  void  and  privation  through  the 
annihilation  of  the  religious  illusion; — and  then 
"another  worid"  grows  out  of  this  feeling  once 
more,  but  now  it  is  only  a  metaphysical  world,  and 
no  longer  a  religious  one.  That  however  which  in 
general  led  to  the  assumption  of  "  another  world  " 
in  primitive  times,  was  not  an  impulse  or  require- 
ment, but  an  error  in  the  interpretation  of  certain 
natural  phenomena,  a  difficulty  of  the  intellect. 

The  greatest  Change. — The  lustre  and  the  hues 
of  all  things  have  changed !  We  no  longer  quite 
understand  how  earlier  men  conceived  of  the  most 
familiar  and  frequent  things,— for  example,  of  the 
day,  and  the  awakening  in  the  morning :  owing  to 
their  belief  in  dreams  the  waking  state  seemed  to 
them  differently  illuminated.  And  similarly  of  the 
whole  of  life,  with  its  reflection  of  death  and  its 
significance:  our  "death"  is  an  entirely  different 


death.  All  events  were  of  a  different  lustre,  for 
a  God  shone  forth  in  them  ;  and  similarly  of  all 
resolutions  and  peeps  into  the  distant  future : 
for  people  had  oracles,  and  secret  hints,  and  be- 
lieved in  prognostication.  "  Truth  "  was  conceived 
in  quite  a  different  manner,  for  the  insane  could 
formerly  be  regarded  as  its  mouthpiece — a  thing 
which  makes  «j  shudder,  or  laugh.  Injustice  made 
a  different  impression  on  the  feelings :  for  people 
were  afraid  of  divine  retribution,  and  not  only  of 
legal  punishment  and  disgrace.  What  joy  was 
there  in  an  age  when  men  believed  in  the  devil 
and  tempter!  What  passion  was  there  when 
people  saw  demons  lurking  close  at  hand  !  What 
philosophy  was  there  when  doubt  was  regarded  as 
sinfulness  of  the  most  dangerous  kind,  and  in  fact 
as  an  outrage  on  eternal  love,  as  distrust  of  every- 
thing good,  high,  pure,  and  compassionate ! — We 
have  coloured  things  anew,  we  paint  them  over 
continually, — but  what  have  we  been  able  to  do 
hitherto  in  comparison  with  the  splendid  colouring 
of  that  old  master ! — I  mean  ancient  humanity. 

Homo  poeta. — "I  myself  who  have  made  this 
tragedy  of  tragedies  altogether  independently,  in 
so  far  as  it  is  completed  ;  I  who  have  first  entwined 
the  perplexities  of  morality  about  existence,  and 
have  tightened  them  so  that  only  a  God  could 
unravel  them  —  so  Horace  demands  !  —  I  have 
already  in  the  fourth  act  killed  all  the  Gods — 
for  the  sake  of  morality!  What  is  now  to  be 
done  about  the  fifth  act  ?     Where  shall  I  get  the 


tragic    denouement!      Must    I    now    think    about 
a  comic  difnouement  ?  " 

'  Differences  in  the  Dangerousness  of  Life. — You 
don't  know  at  all  what  you  experience ;  you  run 
through  life  as  if  intoxicated,  and  now  and  then 
fall  down  a  stair.  Thanks  however  to  your  intoxi- 
cation you  stiir  do  not  break  your  limbs:  your 
muscles  are  too  languid  and  your  head  too  confused 
to  find  the  stones  of  the  staircase  as  hard  as  we 
others  do !  For,  us  life  is  a  greater  danger :  we  are 
made  of  glass — alas,  if  we  should  strike  against 
anything !     And  all  is  lost  if  we  should;'^/// 


What  we  Lack. — We  love  ^& grandeur oi'^^Xwxh^ 
and  have  discovered  it ;  that  is  because  human 
grandeur  is  lacking  in  our  minds.  It  was  the 
reverse  with  the  Greeks :  their  feeling  towards 
Nature  was  quite  different  from  ours. 


The  most  Influential  Person. — The  fact  that  a 
person  resists  the  whole  spirit  of  his  age,  stops  it 
at  the  door  and  calls  it  to  account,  must  exert  an 
influence !  It  is  indifferent  whether  he  wishes  to 
exert  an  influence ;  the  point  is  that  he  can. 

Mentiri. — Take     care !  —  he     reflects  :    he    will 
have  a  lie  ready  immediately.     This  is  a  stage  in 


the  civilisation  of  whole  nations.     Consider  only 
what  the  Romans  expressed  by  mentiri  ! 

An  Inconvenient  Peculiarity. — To  find  everything 
deep  is  an  inconvenient  peculiarity :  it  makes  one 
constantly  strain  one's   eyes,  so   that  in  the  end 
one  always  finds  more  than  one  wishes. 

Every   Virtue  has   its   Time.  —  The  honesty  of 
him   who    is    at   present    inflexible    often   causes 
him  remorse;  for  inflexibility  is  the  virtue  of  a  time 
different  from  that  in  which  honesty  prevails. 

In  Intercourse  with   Virtues. — One  can   also  be 
undignified  and  flattering  towards  a  virtue. 


To  the  Admirers  of  the  Age. — The  runaway  priest 
and  the  liberated  criminal  are  continually  making 
grimaces ;  what  they  want  is  a  look  without  a  past. 
— But  have  you  ever  seen  men  who  know  that  their 
looks  reflect  the  future,  and  who  are  so  courteous  to 
you,  the  admirers  of  the  "  age,"  that  they  assume  a 
look  without  a  future  ? — 


Egoism. — Egoism  is  the  perspective  law  of  our 
sentiment,  according  to  which  the  near  appears 
large  and  momentous,  while  in  the  distance  the 
magnitude  and  importance  of  all  things  diminish. 



After  a  Great  Victory. — The  best  thing  in  a  great 
victory  is  that  it  deprives  the  conqueror  of  the  fear 
of  defeat.  "  Why  should  I  not  be  worsted  for 
once  ?  "  he  says  to  himself,  "  I  am  now  rich  enough 
to  stand  it." 


Those  who  Seek  Repose. — I  recognise  the  minds 
that  seek  repose  by  the  many  dark  objects  with 
which  they  surround  themselves :  those  who  want 
to  sleep  darken  their  chambers,  or  creep  into 
caverns.  A  hint  to  those  who  do  not  know  what 
they  really  seek  most,  and  would  like  to  know ! 

The  Happiness  of  Renunciation. — He  who  has 
absolutely  dispensed  with  something  for  a  long 
time  will  almost  imagine,  when  he  accidentally 
meets  with  it  again,  that  he  has  discovered  it, — and 
what  happiness  every  discoverer  has !  Let  us  be 
wiser  than  the  serpents  that  He  too  long  in  the 
same  sunshine. 


Always  in  our  own  Society. — All  that  is  akin  to 
me  in  nature  and  history  speaks  to  me,  praises  me, 
urges  me  forward  and  comforts  me — :  other  things 
are  unheard  by  me,  or  immediately  forgotten.  We 
are  only  in  our  own  society  always. 


Misanthropy  and  Philanthropy. — We  only  speak 
about  being  sick  of  men  when  we  can  no  longer 


digest  them,  and  yet  have  the  stomach  full  of 
them.  Misanthropy  is  the  result  of  a  far  too  eager 
philanthropy  and  "cannibalism,"  —  but  who  ever 
bade  you  swallow  men  like  oysters,  my  Prince 
Hamlet  ? 


Concerning  an  Invalid. — "  Things  go  badly  with 
him  ! " — What  is  wrong  ? — "  He  suffers  from  the 
longing  to  be  praised,  and  finds  no  sustenance  for 
it." — Inconceivable !  All  the  world  does  honour 
to  him,  and  he  is  reverenced  not  only  in  deed  but 
in  word ! — "  Certainly,  but  he  is  dull  of  hearing  for 
the  praise.  When  a  friend  praises  him  it  sounds  to 
him  as  if  the  friend  praised  himself;  when  an  enemy 
praises  him,  it  sounds  to  him  as  if  the  enemy  wanted 
to  be  praised  for  it ;  when,  finally,  some  one  else 
praises  him — there  are  by  no  means  so  many  of 
these,  he  is  so  famous ! — he  is  offended  because 
they  neither  want  him  for  a  friend  nor  for  an  enemy; 
he  is  accustomed  to  say :  '  What  do  I  care  for  those 
who  can  still  pose  as  the  all-righteous  towards 


Avowed  Enemies. — Bravery  in  presence  of  an 
enemy  is  a  thing  by  itself:  a  person  may  possess 
it  and  still  be  a  coward  and  an  irresolute  num- 
skull. That  was  Napoleon's  opinion  concerning 
the  "  bravest  man  "  he  knew,  Murat : — whence  it 
follows  that  avowed  enemies  are  indispensable  to 
some  men,  if  they  are  to  attain  to  their  virtue,  to 
their  manliness,  to  their  cheerfulness. 



Wifh  the  Multitude. — He  has  hitherto  gone  with 
the  multitude  and  is  its  panegyrist ;  but  one  day  he 
will  be  its  opponent!  For  he  follows  it  in  the 
belief  that  his  laziness  will  find  its  advantage 
thereby :  he  has  not  yet  learned  that  the  multitude 
is  not  lazy  enough  for  him  !  that  it  always  presses 
forward !  that  it  does  not  allow  any  one  to  stand 
still ! — And  he  likes  so  well  to  stand  still ! 


Fame, — When  the  gratitude  of  many  to  one 
casts  aside  all  shame,  then  fame  originates. 


The  Perverter  of  Taste. — A :  "  You  are  a  perverter 
of  taste — they  say  so  everywhere  ! "  B :  "  Certainly ! 
I  pervert  every  one's  taste  for  his  party : — no  party 
forgives  me  for  that." 

To  be  Profound  and  to  Appear  Profound. — He 
who  knows  that  he  is  profound  strives  for  clearness ; 
he  who  would  like  to  appear  profound  to  the  multi- 
tude strives  for  obscurity.  The  multitude  thinks 
everything  profound  of  which  it  cannot  see  the 
bottom  ;  it  is  so  timid  and  goes  so  unwillingly  into 
the  water. 


Apart. — Parliamentarism,  that  is  to  say,  the  pub- 
lic permission  to  choose  between  five  main  political 


opinions,  insinuates  itself  into  the  favour  of  the 
numerous  class  who  would  fain  appear  independent 
and  individual,  and  like  to  fight  for  their  opinions. 
After  all,  however,  it  is  a  matter  of  indifference 
whether  one  opinion  is  imposed  upon  the  herd,  or 
five  opinions  are  permitted  to  it. — He  who  diverges 
from  the  five  public  opinions  and  goes  apart,  has 
always  the  whole  herd  against  him. 

Concerning  Eloquence. — What  has  hitherto  had 
the  most  convincing  eloquence?  The  rolling  of 
the  drum :  and  as  long  as  kings  have  this  at  their 
command,  they  will  always  be  the  best  orators  and 
popular  leaders. 


Compassion. — The  poor,  ruling  princes!  All  their 
rights  now  change  unexpectedly  into  claims,  and 
all  these  claims  immediately  sound  like  preten- 
sions !  And  if  they  but  say  "  we,"  or  "  my  people," 
wicked  old  Europe  begins  laughing.  Verily,  a 
chief-master-of-ceremonies  of  the  modern  world 
would  make  little  ceremony  with  them  ;  perhaps 
he  would  decree  that  ^^  les  souverains  rangent  aux 


On  ^^Educational  Matters." — In  Germany  an 
important  educational  means  is  lacking  for  higher 
men ;  namely,  the  laughter  of  higher  men  ;  these 
men  do  not  laugh  in  Germany. 



For  Moral  Enlightenment. — The  Germans  must 
be  talked  out  of  their  Mephistopheles— and  out  of 
their  Faust  also.  These  are  two  moral  prejudices 
against  the  value  of  knowledge. 

Thoughts. — Thoughts  are  the  shadows   of  our 
sentiments  —  always     however    obscurer,   emptier 
and  simpler. 


The  Good  Time  for  Free  Spirits. — Free  Spirits 
take  liberties  even  with  regard  to  Science — and 
meanwhile  they  are  allowed  to  do  so, — while  the 
Church  still  remains! — In  so  far  they  have  now 
their  good  time. 


Following  and  Leading. — A  :  "  Of  the  two,  the 
one  will  always  follow,  the  other  will  always  lead, 
whatever  be  the  course  of  their  destiny.  And  yet 
the  former  is  superior  to  the  other  in  virtue  and 
intellect."  B:  "And  yet?  And  yet?  That  is 
spoken  for  the  others ;  not  for  me,  not  for  us ! 
— Fit  secundum  regulam." 


In  Solitude. — When  one  lives  alone  one  does 
not  speak  too  loudly,  and  one  does  not  write  too 
loudly  either,  for  one  fears  the  hollow  reverberation 
— the  criticism  of  the  nymph  Echo. — And  all  voices 
sound  differently  in  solitude ! 


The  Music  of  the  Best  Future.— ThQ  first  musician 
for  me  would  be  he  who  knew  only  the  sorrow  of 
the  profoundest  happiness,  and  no  other  sorrow : 
there  has  not  hitherto  been  such  a  musician. 

Justice. — Better  allow  oneself  to  be  robbed  than 
have   scarecrows   around   one — that   is   my   taste. 
And  under  all  circumstances  it  is  just  a  matter 
of  taste — and  nothing  more ! 

Poor. — He  is  now  poor,  but  not  because  every- 
thing has  been  taken  from  him,  but  because  he  has 
thrown  everything  away : — what  does  he  care  ? 
He  is  accustomed  to  find  new  things. — It  is  the 
poor  who  misunderstand  his  voluntary  poverty. 

Bad  Conscience. — All  that  he  now  does  is  ex- 
cellent and  proper — and  yet  he  has  a  bad  con- 
science with  it  all.     For  the  exceptional  is  his  task. 

Offensiveness  in  Expression. — This  artist  offends 
me  by  the  way  in  which  he  expresses  his  ideas, 
his  very  excellent  ideas  :  so  diffusely  and  forcibly, 
and  with  such  gross  rhetorical  artifices,  as  if 
he  were  speaking  to  the  mob.  We  feel  always  as 
if  "in  bad  company"  when  devoting  some  time 
to  his  art. 


1 88. 

Work. — How  closely  work  and  the  workers  now 
stand  even  to  the  most  leisurely  of  us !  The 
royal  courtesy  in  the  words  :  "  We  are  all  workers," 
would  have  been  a  cynicism  and  an  indecency 
even  under  Louis  XIV. 

The  Thinker. — He  is  a  thinker:  that  is  to  say, 
he  knows  how  to  take  things  more  simply  than 
they  are. 

Against  Eulogisers. — A  :    "  One  is  only  praised 
by  one's  equals ! "    B  :  "  Yes !    And  he  who  praises 
you  says  :  '  You  are  my  equal ! ' " 

Against  many  a    Vindication. — The  most  per- 
fidious manner  of  injuring  a  cause  is  to  vindicate  it 
intentionally  with  fallacious  arguments. 

The  Good-natured. — What  is  it  that  distinguishes 
the  good-natured,  whose  countenances  beam  kind- 
ness, from  other  people  ?  They  feel  quite  at  ease 
in  presence  of  a  new  person,  and  are  quickly 
enamoured  of  him  ;  they  therefore  wish  him  well ; 
their  first  opinion  is:  "He  pleases  me."  With 
them  there  follow  in  succession  the  wish  to 
appropriate  (they  make  little  scruple  about  the 
person's  worth),  rapid  appropriation,  joy  in  the 
possession,  and  actions  in  favour  of  the  person 



Kanfs  Joke. — Kant  tried  to  prove,  in  a  way  that 
dismayed  "everybody,"  that  " everybody " was  in 
the  right : — that  was  his  secret  joke.  He  wrote 
against  the  learned,  in  favour  of  popular  prejudice  ; 
he  wrote,  however,  for  the  learned  and  not  for  the 


The  "  Open-hearted^^  Man. — That  man  acts  prob- 
ably always  from  concealed  motives ;  for  he  has 
always  communicable  motives  on  his  tongue,  and 
almost  in  his  open  hand. 

Laughable! — See!     See!     He   runs  away  from 
men — :  they  follow  him,  however,  because  he  runs 
before  them, — they  are  such  a  gregarious  lot  I 


The  Limits  of  our  Sense  of  Hearing. — We  hear 
only  the  questions  to  which  we  are  capable  of  finding 
an  answer. 

Caution    therefore! — There   is   nothing  we   are 
fonder  of  communicating  to  others  than  the  seal 
of  secrecy — together  with  what  is  under  it. 


Vexation  of  the  Proud  Man. — The  proud  man  is 
vexed  even  with  those  who  help  him  forward :  he 
looks  angrily  at  his  carriage-horses 


Liberality. — Liberality  is  often   only  a  form   of 
timidity  in  the  rich. 

Laughing. — To  laugh   means   to  love  mischief, 
but  with  a  good  conscience. 

In  Applause. — In  applause  there  is  always  some 
kind  of  noise :  even  in  self-applause. 

A  Spendthrift— Yi^  has  not  yet  the  poverty  of 
the  rich  man  who  has  counted  all  his  treasure, — he 
squanders  his  spirit  with  the  irrationalness  of  the 
spendthrift  Nature. 

Hie  niger  est. — Usually  he  has  no  thoughts, — but 
in  exceptional  cases  bad  thoughts  come  to  him. 


Beggars  and  Courtesy. — "  One  is  not  discourteous 
when  one  knocks  at  a  door  with  a  stone  when  the 
bell-pull  is  awanting"— so  think  all  beggars  and 
necessitous  persons,  but  no  one  thinks  they  are  in 
the  right. 


;V7"^^^.— Need  is  supposed  to  be  the  cause  of 
things ;  but  in  truth  it  is  often  only  the  result  of 



During  the  Rain. — It  rains,  and  I  think  of  the 
poor  people  who  now  crowd  together  with  their 
many  cares,  which  they  are  unaccustomed  to  con- 
ceal ;  all  of  them,  therefore,  ready  and  anxious  to 
give  pain  to  one  another,  and  thus  provide  them- 
selves with  a  pitiable  kind  of  comfort,  even  in  bad 
weather.  This,  this  only,  is  the  poverty  of  the 


The  Envious  Man. — That  is  an  envious  man — 
it  is  not  desirable  that  he  should  have  children ; 
he  would  be  envious  of  them,  because  he  can  no 
longer  be  a  child. 


A  Great  Man  ! — Because  a  person  is  "  a  great 
man,"  we  are  not  authorised  to  infer  that  he  is  a 
man.  Perhaps  he  is  only  a  boy,  or  a  chameleon 
of  all  ages,  or  a  bewitched  girl. 


A  Mode  of  Asking  for  Reasons. — There  is  a  mode 
of  asking  for  our  reasons  which  not  only  makes  us 
forget  our  best  reasons,  but  also  arouses  in  us  a 
spite  and  repugnance  against  reason  generally : — 
a  very  stupefying  mode  of  questioning,  and  really 
an  artifice  of  tyrannical  men  ! 


Moderation    in    Diligence. — One   must  not    be 

anxious  to  surpass  the  diligence  of  one's  father — 
that  would  make  one  ill. 



Secret  Enemies. — To  be  able  to  keep  a  secret 
enemy — that  is  a  luxury  which  the  morality  even 
of  the  highest-minded  persons  can  rarely  afford. 


Not  Letting  oneself  be  Deluded. — His  spirit  has 
bad  manners,  it  is  hasty  and  always  stutters  with 
impatience  ;  so  that  one  would  hardly  suspect  the 
deep  breathing  and  the  large  chest  of  the  soul  in 
which  it  resides. 


The  Way  to  Happijiess. — A  sage  asked  of  a  fool 
the  way  to  happiness.  The  fool  answered  without 
delay,  like  one  who  had  been  asked  the  way  to  the 
next  town :  "  Admire  yourself,  and  live  on  the 
street ! "  "  Hold,"  cried  the  sage,  "  you  require  too 
much;  it  suffices  to  admire  oneself!"  The  fool 
replied :  "  But  how  can  one  constantly  admire 
without  constantly  despising  ?  " 


Faith  Saves. — Virtue  gives  happiness  and  a  state 
of  blessedness  only  to  those  who  have  a  strong 
faith  in  their  virtue : — not,  however,  to  the  more 
refined  souls  whose  virtue  consists  of  a  profound 
distrust  of  themselves  and  of  all  virtue.  After  all, 
therefore,  it  is  "  faith  that  saves  "  here  also ! — and 
be  it  well  observed,  not  virtue ! 


The  Ideal  and  the  Material. — You  have  a  noble 
ideal  before  your  eyes :  but  are  you  also  such  a 
noble  stone  that  such  a  divine  image  could  be 
formed  out  of  you  ?  And  without  that — is  not  all 
your  labour  barbaric  sculpturing?  A  blasphemy 
of  your  ideal  ? 


Danger  in  the  Voice. — With  a  very  loud  voice 
a  person  is  almost  incapable  of  reflecting  on 
subtle  matters. 


Cause  and  Ej^ect. — Before  the  effect  one  believes 
in  other  causes  than  after  the  effect. 


My  Antipathy. — I  do  not  like  those  people  who, 
in  order  to  produce  an  effect,  have  to  burst  like 
bombs,  and  in  whose  neighbourhood  one  is  always 
in  danger  of  suddenly  losing  one's  hearing — or 
even  something  more. 


The  Object  of  Punishment. — The  object  of  punish- 
ment is  to  improve  him  who  punishes, — that  is  the 
ultimate  appeal  of  those  who  justify  punishment. 


Sacrifice. — The  victims  think  otherwise  than  the 
spectators  about  sacrifice  and  sacrificing :  but  they 
have  never  been  allowed  to  express  their  opinion. 



Consideration. — Fathers  and  sons  are  much  more 
considerate  of  one  another  than  mothers  and 


Poet  and  Liar. — The  poet  sees  in  the  liar  his 
foster-brother  whose  milk  he  has  drunk  up ;  the 
latter  has  thus  remained  wretched,  and  has  not 
even  attained  to  a  good  conscience. 


Vicariousness  of  the  Senses. — "We  have  also  eyes 
in  order  to  hear  with  them," — said  an  old  confessor 
who  had  grown  deaf;  "and  among  the  blind  he 
that  has  the  longest  ears  is  king." 


Animal  Criticism. — I  fear  the  animals  regard 
man  as  a  being  like  themselves,  seriously  endan- 
gered by  the  loss  of  sound  animal  understand- 
ing ;  —  they  regard  him  perhaps  as  the  absurd 
animal,  the  laughing  animal,  the  crying  animal, 
the  unfortunate  animal. 


The  Natural. — "  Evil  has  always  had  the  great 
effect !  And  Nature  is  evil !  Let  us  therefore  be 
natural ! " — so  reason  secretly  the  great  aspirants 
after  effect,  who  are  too  often  counted  among  great 



The  Distrustful  and  their  Style. — We  say  the 
strongest  things  simply,  provided  people  are  about 
us  who  believe  in  our  strength : — such  an  environ- 
ment educates  to  "simplicity  of  style."  The 
distrustful,  on  the  other  hand,  speak  emphatically ; 
they  make  things  emphatic. 


Fallacy^  Fallacy.  —  He  cannot  rule  himself ; 
therefore  that  woman  concludes  that  it  will  be 
easy  to  rule  him,  and  throws  out  her  lines  to 
catch  him ; — the  poor  creature,  who  in  a  short 
time  will  be  his  slave. 


Against  Mediators. — He  who  attempts  to  mediate 
between  two  decided  thinkers  is  rightly  called 
mediocre :  he  has  not  an  eye  for  seeing  the  unique ; 
similarising  and  equalising  are  signs  of  weak  eyes. 


Obstinacy  and  Loyalty. — Out  of  obstinacy  he 
holds  fast  to  a  cause  of  which  the  questionableness 
has  become  obvious, — he  calls  that,  however,  his 
"  loyalty." 


Lack  of  Reserve. — His  whole  nature  fails  to 
convince — that  results  from  the  fact  that  he  has 
never  been  reticent  about  a  good  action  he  has 



The  "  Plodders^ — Persons  slow  of  apprehension 
think  that  slowness  forms  part  of  knowledge. 


Dreaming. — Either  one  does  not  dream  at  all, 
or  one  dreams  in  an  interesting  manner.  One 
must  learn  to  be  awake  in  the  same  fashion : — 
either  not  at  all,  or  in  an  interesting  manner. 

The  most  Dangerous  Point  of  View. — What  I 
now  do,  or  neglect  to  do,  is  as  important  y^;'  all 
that  is  to  come,  as  the  greatest  event  of  the  past : 
in  this  immense  perspective  of  effects  all  actions 
are  equally  great  and  small. 


Consolatory  Words  of  a  Musician. — "Your  life 
does  not  sound  into  people's  ears :  for  them  you 
live  a  dumb  life,  and  all  refinements  of  melody, 
all  fond  resolutions  in  following  or  leading  the 
way,  are  concealed  from  them.  To  be  sure  you  do 
not  parade  the  thoroughfares  with  regimental 
music, — but  these  good  people  have  no  right  to 
say  on  that  account  that  your  life  is  lacking  in 
music.     He  that  hath  ears  let  him  hear." 

Spirit  and  Character. — Many  a  one  attains  his 
full  height  of  character,  but  his  spirit  is  not  adapted 
to  the  elevation, — and  many  a  one  reversely. 



To  Move  the  Multitude. — Is  it  not  necessary  for 
him  who  wants  to  move  the  multitude  to  give  a 
stage  representation  of  himself?  Has  he  not  first 
to  translate  himself  into  the  grotesquely  obvious, 
and  then  set  forth  his  whole  personality  and  cause 
in  that  vulgarised  and  simplified  fashion  ? 

The  Polite  Man. — "He  is  so  polite!" — Yes,  he 
has  always  a  sop  for  Cerberus  with  him,  and  is 
so  timid   that  he  takes  everybody  for  Cerberus, 
even  you  and  me, — that  is  his  "  politeness." 


Without  Envy. — He  is  wholly  without  envy,  but 
there  is  no  merit  therein  :  for  he  wants  to  conquer 
a  land  which  no  one  has  yet  possessed  and  hardly 
any  one  has  even  seen. 

The  Joyless  Person. — A  single  joyless  person 
is  enough  to  make  constant  displeasure  and  a 
clouded  heaven  in  a  household ;  and  it  is  only 
by  a  miracle  that  such  a  person  is  lacking! — 
Happiness  is  not  nearly  such  a  contagious  disease  ; 
— how  is  that  ? 


On  the  Sea-Shore. — I  would  not  build  myselr  a 
house  (it  is  an  element  of  my  happiness  not  to  be 
a  house-owner !).  If  I  had  to  do  so,  however,  I 
should  build  it,  like  many  of  the  Romans,  right 


into  the  sea, — I  should  like  to  have  some  secrets 
in  common  with  that  beautiful  monster. 


Work  and  Artist. — This  artist  is  ambitious  and 
nothing  more;  ultimately,  however,  his  work  is 
only  a  magnifying-glass,  which  he  offers  to  every 
one  who  looks  in  his  direction. 


Suum  cuique. — However  great  be  my  greed  of 
knowledge,  I  cannot  appropriate  aught  of  things 
but  what  already  belongs  to  me, — the  property  of 
others  still  remains  in  the  things.  How  is  it 
possible  for  a  man  to  be  a  thief  or  a  robber  ? 

Origin   of  ''Good''  and  " Bad."— He   only  will 
devise  an  improvement  who  can  feel  that  "  this  is 
not  good." 


Thoughts  and  Words. — Even  our  thoughts  we 
are  unable  to  render  completely  in  words. 

Praise  in  Choice. — The  artist  chooses  his  subjects ; 
that  is  his  mode  of  praising. 


Mathematics. — We  want  to  carry  the  refinement 
and  rigour  of  mathematics  into  all  the  sciences,  as 
far  as  it  is  in  any  way  possible,  not  in  the  belief  that 


we  shall  apprehend  things  in  this  way,  but  in  order 
thereby  to  assert  our  human  relation  to  things. 
Mathematics  is  only  a  means  to  general  and 
ultimate  human  knowledge. 

Habits. — All  habits  m^ke  our  hand  wittier  and 
our  wit  unhandier. 


Books. — Of  what  account  is  a  book  that  never 
carries  us  away  beyond  all  books  ? 

vay  bs] 


The  Sigh  of  the  Seeker  of  Knowledge. — "  Oh,  my 
covetousness  !  In  this  soul  there  is  no  disinterested- 
ness— but  an  all-desiring  self,  which,  by  means  of 
many  individuals,  would  fain  see  as  with  its  own 
eyes,  and  grasp  as  with  its  own  hands — a  self 
bringing  back  even  the  entire  past,  and  wanting 
to  lose  nothing  that  could  in  any  way  belong  to  it! 
Oh,  this  flame  of  my  covetousness !  Oh,  that  I 
were  reincarnated  in  a  hundred  individuals ! " — He 
who  does  not  know  this  sigh  by  experience,  does 
not  know  the  passion  of  the  seeker  of  knowledge 


Guilt. — Although  the  most  intelligent  judges  ot 
the  witches,  and  even  the  witches  themselves,  were 
convinced  of  the  guilt  of  witchcraft,  the  guilt, 
nevertheless,  was  not  there.  So  it  is  with  all 



Misunderstood  Sufferers. — Great  natures  suffer 
otherwise  than  their  worshippers  imagine;  they 
suffer  most  severely  from  the  ignoble,  petty  emo- 
tions of  certain  evil  moments  ;  in  short,  from  doubt 
of  their  own  greatness ; — not  however  from  the 
sacrifices  and  martyrdoms  which  their  tasks  require 
of  them.  As  long  as  Prometheus  sympathises 
with  men  and  sacrifices  himself  for  them,  he  is 
happy  and  proud  in  himself;  but  on  becoming 
envious  of  Zeus  and  of  the  homage  which  mortals 
pay  him — then  Prometheus  suffers  ! 

Better  to  be  in  Debt. — "  Better  to  remain  in  debt 
than  to  pay  with  money  which  does  not  bear  our 
stamp  ! " — that  is  what  our  sovereignty  prefers. 


Always  at  Home. — One  day  we  attain  our  goal — 
and  then  refer  with  pride  to  the  long  journeys  we 
have  made  to  reach  it.  In  truth,  we  did  not  notice 
that  we  travelled.  We  got  into  the  habit  of  think- 
ing that  we  were  at  home  in  every  place. 

Against    Embarrassment. — He   who    is    always 
thoroughly  occupied  is  rid  of  all  embarrassment. 


Imitators. — A  :  "  What  ?  You  don't  want  to  have 
imitators  ?  "    B  :  "  I  don't  want  people  to  do  any- 


thing  after  me  ;  I  want  every  one  to  do  something 
before  himself  (as  a  pattern  to  himself)— just  as  / 
do."     A:  "Consequently—?" 

Skinniness. — All  profound  men  have  their  happi- 
ness in  imitating  the  flying-fish  at  times,  and 
playing  on  the  crests  of  the  waves ;  they  think 
that  what  is  best  of  all  in  things  is  their  surface : 
their  skinniness — sit  venia  verbo. 

From  Experience. — A  person  often  does  not  know 
how  rich  he  is,  until  he  learns  from  experience  what 
rich  men  even  play  the  thief  on  him. 

The  Deniers  of  Chance. — No  conqueror  believes 
in  chance. 

From  Paradise. — "Good  and   Evil    are    God's 
prejudices  " — said  the  serpent. 

One  times  One. — One  only  is  always  in  the  wrong, 
but    with   two   truth   begins. — One    only   cannot 
prove  himself  right ;    but  two  are  already  beyond 

Originality. — What  is  originality  ?    To  see  some- 
thing that  does  not  yet  bear  a  name,  that  cannot 
yet  be  named,  although  it  is  before  everybody's 


eyes.  As  people  are  usually  constituted,  it  is  the 
name  that  first  makes  a  thing  generally  visible  to 
them. — Original  persons  have  also  for  the  most 
part  been  the  namers  of  things. 


Sub  specie  aeterni. — A  :  "  You  withdraw  faster 
and  faster  from  the  living;  they  will  soon  strike 
you  out  of  their  lists ! " — B  :  "  It  is  the  only  way 
to  participate  in  the  privilege  of  the  dead."  A : 
"  In  what  privilege  ?  " — B  :  "  No  longer  having  to 


Without  Vanity. — When  we  love  we  want  our 
defects  to  remain  concealed, — not  out  of  vanity,  but 
lest  the  person  loved  should  suffer  therefrom. 
Indeed,  the  lover  would  like  to  appear  as  a  God, — 
and  not  out  of  vanity  either. 


What  we  Do. — What  we  do  is  never  understood, 
but  only  praised  and  blamed. 


Ultimate  Scepticism. — But  what  after  all  are 
man's  truths  ? — They  are  his  irrefutable  errors. 


Where  Cruelty  is  Necessary. — He  who  is  great  is 
cruel  to  his  second-rate  virtues  and  judgments. 


With  a  high  Aiin.—W\t\i  a  high  aim  a  person 
is   superior   even   to  justice,  and  not  only  to  his 
deeds  and  his  judges. 

What  makes  Heroic?— To  face  simultaneously 
one's  greatest  suffering  and  one's  highest  hope. 

What  dost  thou  Believe  in  ?— In  this  :  That  the 
weights  of  all  things  must  be  determined  anew. 


WhatSaith  thy  Conscience  ?—'' Thou  shalt  become 
what  thou  art." 


Where  are  thy  Greatest  Dangers  ?— In  pity. 

What  dost  thou  Love  in  others  P— My  hopes. 

Whom  dost  thou  call  Bad  P— Him  who  always 
wants  to  put  others  to  shame. 


What  dost  thou  think  most  humane  ?~To  spare 
a  person  shame. 


What  is  the  Seal  of  Attained  Liberty  P— To  be 
no  longer  ashamed  of  oneself. 



Thou   who  with   cleaving  fiery 
The  stream  of  my  soul  from 
its  ice  dost  free, 
Till  with  a  rush  and  a  roar  it 
To  enter  with  glorious  hoping 
the  sea : 
Brighter  to  see  and  purer  ever, 
Free  in  the  bonds  of  thy  sweet 
constraint, — 
So  it  praises  thy  wondrous  en- 
January,  thou  beauteous  saint ! 

Genoa,  January  1882. 


For  the  New  Year.~\  still  live,  I  still  think ;  I 
must  still  live,  for  I  must  still  think.  Sum,  ergo 
cogiio:  cogiio,  ergo  sum.  To-day  everyone  takes 
the  liberty  of  expressing  his  wish  and  his  favourite 
thought:  well,  I  also  mean  to  tell  what  I  have 
wished  for  myself  to-day,  and  what  thought  first 
crossed  my  mind  this  year,— a  thought  which  ought 
to  be  the  basis,  the  pledge  and  the  sweetening  of 
all  my  future  life!  I  want  more  and  more  to 
perceive  the  necessary  characters  in  things  as  the 
beautiful:  — I  shall  thus  be  one  of  those  who 
beautify  things.  Amor  fati :  let  that  henceforth 
be  my  love !  I  do  not  want  to  wage  war  with  the 
ugly.  I  do  not  want  to  accuse,  I  do  not  want  even 
to  accuse  the  accusers.  Looking  aside,  let  that  be 
my  sole  negation !  And  all  in  all,  to  sum  up :  I 
wish  to  be  at  any  time  hereafter  only  3  yea-sayer ! 


Personal  Providence.—ThQxe  is  a  certain  climax 
m  life,  at  which,  notwithstanding  all  our  freedom, 
and  however  much  we  may  have  denied  all  direct- 
mg  reason  and  goodness  in  the  beautiful  chaos 
of  existence,  we  are  once  more  in  great  danger 
of    intellectual    bondage,   and    have    to   face    our 



hardest  test.     For  now  the  thought  of  a  personal 
Providence    first    presents    itself    before    us    with 
its   most   persuasive   force,   and    has   the   best  of 
advocates,  apparentness,  in  its  favour,  now  when  it 
is  obvious  that  all  and  everything  that  happens  to 
us  always  turns  out  for  the  best.     The  life  of  every 
day  and  of  every  hour  seems  to  be  anxious  for 
nothing  else  but  always  to  prove  this  proposition 
anew ;  let  it  be  what  it  will,  bad  or  good  weather, 
the  loss   of  a  friend,  a  sickness,  a  calumny,  the 
non-receipt    of   a    letter,   the  spraining    of   one's 
foot,   a   glance    into    a    shop-window,  a   counter- 
argument,  the   opening   of  a    book,   a   dream,   a 
deception  :— it  shows  itself  immediately,  or  very 
soon  afterwards,  as  something  "not  permitted  to 
be  absent,"— it  is  full  of  profound  significance  and 
utility  precisely /^^  us  !     Is  there  a  more  dangerous 
temptation   to   rid   ourselves  of  the  belief  in  the 
Gods  of  Epicurus,  those  careless,  unknown  Gods, 
and  believe  in  some  anxious  and  mean  Divinity, 
who   knows   personally   every   little   hair   on   our 
heads,  and  feels  no  disgust  in  rendering  the  most 
wretched  services  ?     Well— I  mean  in  spite  of  all 
this!   we  want  to  leave  the  Gods  alone  (and  the 
serviceable  genii   likewise),   and   wish   to   content 
ourselves    with    the    assumption     that    our    own 
practical  and  theoretical  skilfulness  in  explaining 
and  suitably  arranging  events  has  now  reached  its 
highest  point.     We   do   not  want  either  to  think 
too  highly  of  this  dexterity  of  our  wisdom,  when 
the  wonderful  harmony  which  results  from  play- 
ing on   our    instrument    sometimes    surprises    us 
too  much :    a  harmony  which  sounds  too  well  for 


US  to  dare  to  ascribe  it  to  ourselves.  In  fact,  now 
and  then  there  is  one  who  plays  with  us— beloved 
Chance :  he  leads  our  hand  occasionally,  and  even 
the  all-wisest  Providence  could  not  devise  any  finer 
music  than  that  of  which  our  foolish  hand  is  then 


The  Thought  of  Death.— \t  gives  me  a  melancholy 
happiness  to  live  in  the  midst  of  this  confusion  of 
streets,  of  necessities,   of  voices :    how  much  en- 
joyment, impatience  and  desire,  how  much  thirsty 
life  and  drunkenness  of  life  comes  to  light  here 
every  moment!     And  yet  it  will  soon  be  so  still 
for  all   these  shouting,  lively,    life-loving   people! 
How   everyone's    shadow,   his  gloomy   travelling- 
companion  stands  behind  him  !     It  is  always  as  in 
the  last  moment  before  the  departure  of  an  emi- 
grant-ship :  people  have  more  than  ever  to  say  to 
one  another,  the  hour  presses,  the  ocean  with  its 
lonely  silence   waits    impatiently   behind    all   the 
noise — so  greedy,  so  certain  of  its  prey !     And  all, 
all,  suppose  that  the  past  has  been  nothing,  or  a 
small  matter,  that  the  near  future  is  everything: 
hence  this  haste,  this  crying,  this  self  -  deafening 
and   self- overreaching!      Everyone   wants   to   be 
foremost  in   this  future, — and   yet  death  and   the 
stillness  of  death  are  the  only  things  certain  and 
common  to  all  in  this  future !    How  strange  that  this 
sole  thing  that  is  certain  and  common  to  all,  exercises 
almost  no  influence  on  men,  and  that  they  are  the 
furthest  from  regarding  themselves  as  the  brother- 
hood of  death !     It  makes  me  happy  to  see  that 


men  do  not  want  to  think  at  all  of  the  idea  of  death  t 
I  would  fa,n  do  something  to  make  the  idea  of  We 
-en  a  hundred  times  „.ore  .ortky  of  tttr'l^l 


Stellar  Pnendshtp.-SN^  were  friends,  and  have 
become  strangers  to  each  other.     But  this  is  as  ft 
ought  to  be,  and  we  do  not  want  either  to  clcea 
or  obscure  the  fact  as  if  we  had  to  be  ashamX 

Ind  It.  r  *'P''  "^*  "^"•'■■^h  has  its  goal 

and  .ts  course;  we  may,  to  be  sure,  cross  one 
another  m  our  paths,  and  celebrate  a  feast  toLh^r 

ruiltlv  in'o^'T;:"'  "'^"  *^  galla^sh^f  £' 
ftat  It  n,°h.  \"''°"'^"d  in  one  sunshine,  so 
that    It    might    have    been    thought    thev    were 

tTZtTr^'r"  "'^'  «>^'  had  ifad^;: 

fo°ced  us  In^T     '  "■"•^'"y  ^'^^"S'h  of  our  tasks 
into  riiff'  ^T  °"'^  "'°'^  '"'°  ''■■ff^'-^"'  =eas  and 

ee  one  Totr""'  '"^  P'=^'''P^  "^  =hall  never 
see  one  another  agam,_or  perhaps  we  may  see 
one  another,  but  not  know  one  anoLr  agSn"^  ^e 
different  seas  and  suns  have  altered  us!     That  vve 

to  wtvh""'"'  ''''"''''  '°  ""''  -°'her  is  t':  law 
to  which  we  are  suijecl:  just  by  that  shall  we 
become  more  sacred  to  one  another!  Just  Z 
that  shall  the  thought  of  our  former  fr/endship 

"%„Tgoals"'s;'tMer'd-ff''"   '^■^'^    °" 

tTsh°or  r  '°  ^'^  "^°"^'"-'    But  our  life  i 
too  short,  and  our  power  of  vision  too  limited  for 


US  to  be  more  than  friends  in  the  sense  of  that 
sublime  possibility. — And  so  we  will  believe  in  our 
stellar  friendship,  though  we  should  have  to  be 
terrestrial  enemies  to  one  another. 


Architecture  for  Thinkers. — An  insight  is  needed 
(and  that  probably  very  soon)  as  to  what  is  specially 
lacking  in  our  great  cities — namely,  quiet,  spacious, 
and  widely  extended  places  for  reflection,  places  with 
long,  lofty  colonnades  for  bad  weather,  or  for  too 
sunny  days,  where  no  noise  of  wagons  or  of  shouters 
would  penetrate,  and  where  a  more  refined  propriety 
would  prohibit  loud  praying  even  to  the  priest : 
buildings  and  situations  which  as  a  whole  would 
express  the  sublimity  of  self-communion  and 
seclusion  from  the  world.  The  time  is  past  when 
the  Church  possessed  the  monopoly  of  reflection, 
when  the  vita  contemplativa  had  always  in  the  first 
place  to  be  the  vita  religiosa  :  and  everything  that 
the  Church  has  built  expresses  this  thought.  I 
know  not  how  we  could  content  ourselves  with 
their  structures,  even  if  they  should  be  divested 
of  their  ecclesiastical  purposes :  these  structures 
speak  a  far  too  pathetic  and  too  biassed  speech,  as 
houses  of  God  and  places  of  splendour  for  super- 
natural intercourse,  for  us  godless  ones  to  be  able 
to  think  our  thoughts  in  them.  We  want  to  have 
ourselves  translated  into  stone  and  plant,  we  want 
to  go  for  a  walk  in  ourselves  when  we  wander  in 
these  halls  and  gardens. 


Knowing  how  to  Find  the  ^«^. -Masters  of  the 
first  rank  are  recognised  by  knowing  in  a  perfect 
manner  how  to  find  the  end,  in  the  whole  as  well 
as  in  the  part ;  be  it  the  end  of  a  melody  or  of  a 
thought,  be  it  the  fifth  act  of  a  tragedy  or  of  a  state 
affair.  The  masters  of  the  second  degree  always 
become  restless  towards  the  end,  and  seldom  dip 
down  into  the  sea  with  such  proud,  quiet  equilibrium 
as,  for  example,  the  mountain-ridge  at  Porto  fino— 
where  the  Bay  of  Genoa  sings  its  melody  to  an  end. 

The  Gait.~-T\iQXQ  are  mannerisms  of  the  intellect 
by   which   even   great    minds    betray    that    they 
originate   from    the   populace,  or   from  the  semi- 
populace  :-it    is    principally   the   gait    and   step 
of  their  thoughts  which  betray  them  ;  they  cannot 
walk.     It  was   thus   that   even    Napoleon,  to  his 
profound  chagrin,  could  not  walk  "legitimately" 
and  in  princely  fashion  on  occasions  when  it  was 
necessary  to  do  so  properly,  as  in  great  coronation 
processions  and  on  similar  occasions  :  even  there  he 
was  always  just  the  leader  of  a  column— proud  and 
brusque  at  the  same  time,  and  very  self-conscious 
of  it  all.— It  is  something  laughable  to  see  those 
writers  who  make  the  folding  robes  of  their  periods 
rustle  around  them  :  they  want  to  cover  their  >^^. 

Pioneers.~\  greet  all  the  signs  indicating  that  a 
more  manly  and  wariike  age  is  commencing,  which 
will,  above  all,  bring  heroism  again  into  honour ! 


For  it  has  to  prepare  the  way  for  a  yet  higher  age, 
and  gather  the  force  which  the  latter  will  one  day 
require, — the  age  which  will  carry  heroism  into  know- 
ledge, and  wage  war  for  the  sake  of  ideas  and  their 
consequences.     For  that  end  many  brave  pioneers 
are  now  needed,  who,  however,  cannot  originate  out 
of  nothing,— and  just  as  little  out  of  the  sand  and 
slime  of  present-day  civilisation  and  the  culture  of 
great  cities :  men  silent,  solitary  and  resolute,  who 
know  how  to  be  content  and  persistent  in  invisible 
activity:  men  who  with  innate  disposition  seek  in  all 
things  that  which  is  to  be  overcome  in  them  :  men  to 
whom  cheerfulness,  patience,  simplicity,  and  con- 
tempt of  the  great  vanities  belong  just  as  much  as 
do  magnanimity  in  victory  and  indulgence  to  the 
trivial  vanities  of  all  the  vanquished  :   men  with 
an  acute  and  independent  judgment  regarding  all 
victors,  and  concerning  the  part  which  chance  has 
played  in  the  winning  of  victory  and  fame  :  men 
with  their  own  holidays,  their  own  work-days,  and 
their   own   periods   of  mourning;  accustomed    to 
command  with  perfect  assurance,  and  equally  ready, 
if  need  be,  to  obey,  proud  in  the  one  case  as  in  the 
other,  equally  serving  their  own   interests:    men 
more  imperilled,    more  productive,    more   happy  ! 
For  believe  me  !— the  secret  of  realising  the  largest 
productivity  and  the  greatest  enjoyment  of  existence 
is  to  live  in  danger  !     Build  your  cities  on  the  slope 
of  Vesuvius!     Send  your  ships  into  unexplored 
seas !      Live  in   war  with  your  equals   and   with 
yourselves !     Be  robbers  and   spoilers,  ye   know- 
ing  ones,   as   long   as   ye   cannot    be   rulers   and 
possessors!     The  time  will   soon  pass  when  you 


can  be  satisfied  to  live  like  timorous  deer  concealed 
in  the  forests.  Knowledge  will  finally  stretch  out 
her  hand  for  that  which  belongs  to  her : — she  means 
to  rule  and  possess^  and  you  with  her ! 

Belief  in  Oneself. — In  general,  few  men  have 
belief  in  themselves  : — and  of  those  few  some  are 
endowed  with  it  as  a  useful  blindness  or  partial 
obscuration  of  intellect  (what  would  they  perceive 
if  they  could  see  to  the  bottom  of  themselves!'). 
The  others  must  first  acquire  the  belief  for  them- 
selves :  everything  good,  clever,  or  great  that  they 
do,  is  first  of  all  an  argument  against  the  sceptic 
that  dwells  in  them  :  the  question  is  how  to  con- 
vince or  persuade  this  sceptic,  and  for  that  purpose 
genius  almost  is  needed.  They  are  signally  dis- 
satisfied with  themselves. 

Excelsior ! — "  Thou  wilt  never  more  pray,  never 
more  worship,  never  more  repose  in  infinite  trust — 
thou  refusest  to  stand  still  and  dismiss  thy  thoughts 
before  an  ultimate  wisdom,  an  ultimate  virtue,  an 
ultimate  power, — thou  hast  no  constant  guardian 
and  friend  in  thy  seven  solitudes — thou  livest 
without  the  outlook  on  a  mountain  that  has  snow ' 
on  its  head  and  fire  in  its  heart — there  is  no 
longer  any  requiter  for  thee,  nor  any  amender  with 
his  finishing  touch — there  is  no  longer  any  reason 
in  that  which  happens,  or  any  love  in  that  which 
will  happen  to  thee — there  is  no  longer  any  resting- 
place  for  thy  weary  heart,  where  it  has  only  to  find 


and  no  longer  to  seek,  thou  art  opposed  to  any  kind 
of  ultimate  peace,  thou  desirest  the  eternal  recur-^ 
fence  of  war  and  peace:— man  of  renunciation, 
wilt  thou  renounce  in  all  these  things?  Who 
will  give  thee  the  strength  to  do  so  ?  No  one  has 
yet  had  this  strength  ! " — There  is  a  lake  which  one 
day  refused  to  flow  away,  and  threw  up  a  dam  at 
the  place  where  it  had  hitherto  discharged :  since 
then  this  lake  has  always  risen  higher  and  higher. 
Perhaps  the  very  renunciation  will  also  furnish  us 
with  the  strength  with  which  the  renunciation  itself 
can  be  borne;  perhaps  man  will  ever  rise  higher 
and  higher  from  that  point  onward,  when  he  no 
longer  ^ows  out  into  a  God. 


A  Digression. — Here  are  hopes ;  but  what  will 
you  see  and  hear  of  them,  if  you  have  not  experi- 
enced glance  and  glow  and  dawn  of  day  in  your 
own  souls  ?  I  can  only  suggest — I  cannot  do  more  ! 
To  move  the  stones,  to  make  animals  men — would 
you  have  me  do  that  ?  Alas,  if  you  are  yet  stones 
and  animals,  you  must  seek  your  Orpheus  ! 


Love  of  Blindness. — "  My  thoughts,"  said  the 
wanderer  to  his  shadow,  "  ought  to  show  me  where 
I  stand,  but  they  should  not  betray  to  me  whither  I 
go.  I  love  ignorance  of  the  future,  and  do  not 
want  to  come  to  grief  by  impatience  and  antici- 
patory tasting  of  promised  things." 



Lofty  Moods. — It  seems  to  me  that  most  men  do 
not  believe  in  lofty  moods,  unless  it  be  for  the 
moment,  or  at  the  most  for  a  quarter  of  an  hour, — 
except  the  few  who  know  by  experience  a  longer 
duration  of  high  feeling.  But  to  be  absolutely 
a  man  with  a  single  lofty  feeling,  the  incarnation  of 
a  single  lofty  mood — that  has  hitherto  been  only  a 
dream  and  an  enchanting  possibility  :  history  does 
not  yet  give  us  any  trustworthy  example  of  it. 
Nevertheless  one  might  also  some  day  produce 
such  men — when  a  multitude  of  favourable  condi- 
tions have  been  created  and  established,  which 
at  present  even  the  happiest  chance  is  unable  to 
throw  together.  Perhaps  that  very  state  which  has 
hitherto  entered  into  our  soul  as  an  exception,  felt 
with  horror  now  and  then,  may  be  the  usual  con- 
dition of  those  future  souls  :  a  continuous  movement 
between  high  and  low,  and  the  feeling  of  high  and 
low,  a  constant  state  of  mounting  as  on  steps,  and 
at  the  same  time  reposing  as  on  clouds. 


Aboard  Ship  ! — When  one  considers  how  a  full 
philosophical  justification  of  his  mode  of  living 
and  thinking  operates  upon  every  individual — 
namely,  as  a  warming,  blessing,  and  fructifying 
sun,  specially  shining  on  him  ;  how  it  makes  him 
independent  of  praise  and  blame,  self-sufficient, 
rich  and  generous  in  the  bestowal  of  happiness 
and  kindness ;  how  it  unceasingly  transforms  the 
evil  to  the  good,  brings  all  the  energies  to  bloom 


and  maturity,  and  altogether  hinders  the  growth 
of  the  greater  and  lesser  weeds  of  chagrin  and  dis- 
content :— one  at  last  cries  out  importunately  :  Oh, 
that  many  such  new  suns  were  created !  The  evil 
man,  also,  the  unfortunate  man,  and  the  excep- 
tional man,  shall  each  have  his  philosophy,  his 
rights,  and  his  sunshine !  It  is  not  sympathy  with 
them  that  is  necessary  ! — we  must  unlearn  this 
arrogant  fancy,  notwithstanding  that  humanity 
has  so  long  learned  it  and  used  it  exclusively, — we 
have  not  to  set  up  any  confessor,  exorcist,  or 
pardoner  for  them  !  It  is  a  new  justice,  however, 
that  is  necessary !  And  a  new  solution !  And 
new  philosophers !  The  moral  earth  also  is  round  ! 
The  moral  earth  also  has  its  antipodes !  The  anti- 
podes also  have  their  right  to  exist!  there  is 
still  another  world  to  discover — and  more  than 
one !     Aboard  ship !  ye  philosophers  ! 


One  Thing  is  Needful.— To  "  give  style  "  to  one's 
character — that  is  a  grand  and  a  rare  art!  He 
who  surveys  all  that  his  nature  presents  in  its 
strength  and  in  its  weakness,  and  then  fashions  it 
into  an  ingenious  plan,  until  everything  appears 
artistic  and  rational,  and  even  the  weaknesses 
enchant  the  eye — exercises  that  admirable  art. 
Here  there  has  been  a  great  amount  of  second 
nature  added,  there  a  portion  of  first  nature  has 
been  taken  away : — in  both  cases  with  long  exer- 
cise and  daily  labour  at  the  task.  Here  the  ugly, 
which  does  not  permit  of  being  taken  away,  has 
been   concealed,  there  it  has  been  re-interpreted 


into  the  sublime.     Much  of  the  vague,  which  re- 
fuses to  take  form,  has  been  reserved  and  utilised 
for  the  perspectives  : — it  is  meant  to  give  a  hint 
of  the   remote  and   immeasurable.      In   the  end, 
when  the  work  has  been  completed,  it  is  revealed 
how  it  was  the  constraint  of  the  same  taste  that 
organised  and  fashioned  it  in  whole  and  in  part : 
whether  the   taste  was   good   or  bad   is   of   less 
importance  than  one  thinks, — it  is  sufficient  that 
it  was  a  taste! — It  will  be  the  strong  imperious 
natures  which  experience  their  most  refined  joy 
in  such  constraint,  in  such  confinement  and  per- 
fection under  their  own  law ;  the  passion  of  their 
violent  volition  lessens  at  the  sight  of  all  disciplined 
nature,  all  conquered  and  ministering  nature :  even 
when  they  have  palaces  to  build  and  gardens  to 
lay  out,  it  is  not  to  their  taste  to  allow  nature  to 
be  free. — It  is  the  reverse  with  weak  characters 
who  have  not   power  over  themselves,  and  hate 
the   restriction    of  style:    they   feel   that   if  this 
repugnant  constraint   were  laid  upon  them,  they 
would    necessarily   become    vulgarised  under    it : 
they  become  slaves  as   soon  as  they  serve,  they 
hate  service.     Such  intellects — they  may  be  intel- 
lects of  the  first  rank — are  always  concerned  with 
fashioning  and  interpreting  themselves  and  their 
surroundings  zs  free  nature— wild,  arbitrary,  fan- 
tastic, confused  and  surprising :   and  it  is  well  for 
them  to  do  so,  because  only  in  this  manner  can 
they  please  themselves !     For  one  thing  is  needful : 
namely,  that  man  should  attain  to  satisfaction  with 
himself— be  it  but  through  this  or  that  fable  and 
artifice :   it  is  only  then  that  man's  aspect  \s  at  all 


endurable !  He  who  is  dissatisfied  with  himself  is 
ever  ready  to  avenge  himself  on  that  account :  we 
others  will  be  his  victims,  if  only  in  having  always 
to  endure  his  ugly  aspect.  For  the  aspect  of  the 
ugly  makes  one  mean  and  sad. 


Genoa. — I  have  looked  upon  this  city,  its  villas 
and  pleasure-grounds,  and  the  wide  circuit  of  its 
inhabited  heights  and  slopes,  for  a  considerable 
time :  in  the  end  I  must  say  that  I  see  countenances 
out  of  past  generations, — this  district  is  strewn  with 
the  images  of  bold  and  autocratic  men.  They  have 
lived  and  have  wanted  to  live  on — they  say  so 
with  their  houses,  built  and  decorated  for  centuries, 
and  not  for  the  passing  hour :  they  were  well 
disposed  to  life,  however  ill-disposed  they  may 
often  have  been  towards  themselves.  I  always  see 
the  builder,  how  he  casts  his  eye  on  all  that  is 
built  around  him  far  and  near,  and  likewise  on 
the  city,  the  sea,  and  the  chain  of  mountains ;  how 
he  expresses  power  and  conquest  with  his  gaze : 
all  this  he  wishes  to  fit  into  his  plan,  and  in  the 
end  make  it  his  property^  by  its  becoming  a 
portion  of  the  same.  The  whole  district  is  over- 
grown with  this  superb,  insatiable  egoism  of  the 
desire  to  possess  and  exploit ;  and  as  these  men 
when  abroad  recognised  no  frontiers,  and  in  their 
thirst  for  the  new  placed  a  new  world  beside  the 
old,  so  also  at  home  everyone  rose  up  against 
everyone  else,  and  devised  some  mode  of  expressing 
his  superiority,  and  of  placing  between  himself  and 
his  neighbour  his  personal  illimitableness.  Everyone 


won  for  himself  his  home  once  more  by  over- 
powermg  .t  with  his  architectural  though    Ind 

rfce  wr'"^  "  '"'°.  ^  '^^"S'^'f"'  -ght  for  ht 
race.  Wlien  we  consider  the  mode  of  building.  m  the  north,  the  law,  and  the  gene  al  deulf 

"  'T'"?  ""^  °'"='^''^"=«.  ™P°^e  upon  us  we 
thereby  divine  the  propensity  to  equality  aL 
submission  which  must  have  ruled  in  those  bSl/e^' 

am!'    kT"''  T  '"'■"'■"g  ^^^^y  '=°™«f  you  find 
a  man  by  himself,  who  knows  the  sea.  knows  ad 
venture,  and  knows  the  Orient  a  man  „,h^: 
to  lau,  -„j  »         .  , ,  ^""^n^'  a  man  who  is  averse 
haviTo  H^  t°  ne-ghbour.  as  if  it  bored  him  to 
have  to  do  with  them,  a  man  who  scans  all  that 
IS  aJready  old  and  established  with  envious  glances 
with  a  wonderful  craftiness  of  fantasy,  he^woutd 
.ke,  at   east  in  thought,  to  establish  I  thlslnew 

afternlTn      h  ''  ?'  '^'  P'^''"^  •">"  of  a  sunny 
afternoon  when  for  once  his  insatiable  and  melan- 

ot:.''::^    f^^^^-tiety,  and  when  only  whatTs  hi 
hfeeye        "^    ^"^  ""^"^'-   ""^   ''">''   "^^'f  'o 
7>  M«  /'^^a,,.^^^^  ofUorality.-l  do  not  mean 
to  moralise,  but  to  those  who  do.  I  would  le  tWs 
advice :  .f  you  mean  ultimately  to  deprive  the  be 
««J^s  and  the  best  conditions  of  all  honou    td 
worth,  continue  to   speak  of  them   in  the  same 
way  as  heretofore !     Put  them  at  the  head  of  yo"r 
morality,  and  speak  from  morning  till  night  of X 

ness  and  of  reward  and  punishment  in  the  nature 
of  things :  according  as  you  go  on  in  this  manned 


all  these  good  things  will  finally  acquire  a  popu- 
larity and  a  street-cry  for  themselves :  but  then 
all  the  gold  on  them  will  also  be  worn  off,  and 
more  besides :  all  the  gold  in  them  will  have 
changed  into  lead.  Truly,  you  understand  the 
reverse  art  of  alchemy,  the  depreciating  of  the 
most  valuable  things !  Try,  just  for  once,  another 
recipe,  in  order  not  to  realise  as  hitherto  the 
opposite  of  what  you  mean  to  attain  :  deny  those 
good  things,  withdraw  from  them  the  applause  of 
the  populace  and  discourage  the  spread  of  them, 
make  them  once  more  the  concealed  chastities  of 
solitary  souls,  and  say :  morality  is  something  for- 
bidden! Perhaps  you  will  thus  attract  to  your 
cause  the  sort  of  men  who  are  only  of  any  ac- 
count, I  mean  the  heroic.  But  then  there  must  be 
something  formidable  in  it,  and  not  as  hitherto 
something  disgusting!  Might  one  not  be  in- 
clined to  say  at  present  with  reference  to  morality 
what  Master  Eckardt  says  :  "  I  pray  God  to  deliver 
me  from  God  ! " 

Our  Atmosphere. — We  know  it  well :  in  him  who 
only  casts  a  glance  now  and  then  at  science,  as 
when  taking  a  walk  (in  the  manner  of  women,  and 
alas !  also  like  many  artists),  the  strictness  in  its 
service,  its  inexorability  in  small  matters  as  well 
as  in  great,  its  rapidity  in  weighing,  judging  and 
condemning,  produce  something  of  a  feeling  of 
giddiness  and  fright.  It  is  especially  terriiying  to 
him  that  the  hardest  is  here  demanded,  that  the 
best  is  done  without  the  reward  of  praise  or  dis- 
tinction ;    it  is  rather  as  among  soldiers — almost 


nothing  but  blame  and  sharp  reprimand  is  heard  ■ 
for  doing  wel  prevails  here  as  the  rule,  doing  ill 
as  the  exception  ;  the  rule,  however,  ha^,  here  as 
everywhere  a  silent  tongue.  It  is  the  same  with 
ths" severity  of  science"  as  with  the  manners  and 

unlSd  °'„*; '"'  ^°^'^'^^  ■■'  frightens  the 
unm.tiated  He,  however,  who  is  accustomed  to  it 
does  not  hke  to  live  anywhere  but  in  this  clea 
tonsparent  powerful,  and  highly  electrified  at-' 
mosphere,  th.s  manly  atmosphere.  Anywhere  else 
IZ  M  ""T  ^""^  ^Ty  enough  for  him  :  he  suspects 
that  there  h.s  best  art  would  neither  be  properly 
advantageous  to  anyone  else,  nor  a  deHgh"^  o 
h|mself,  that   through   misunderstandings   half  of 

fore  ,vltT  h^""  *T^'>  "''^  ''"^-•'••-'  --h 
lonstandvT  ^°"^^^'™^"t  ^"^  reticence  would 
constantly  be  necessary.—nothing  but  great  and 
useless  losses  of  power!     I„  ,^,/keen  Ind  clear 

cinTv  ■  ^Zri  "^j'f  •"■=  ^""-  P°--  here  he 
can  fly !  Why  should  he  again  go  down  into  those 
muddy  waters  where  he  has  to  swim  and  wade  and 

o,  h.s  wmgs!_No!  There  it  is  too  hard  for  us 
to  hve !  we  cannot  help  it  that  we  are  born  for  the 
atmosphere  the  pure  atmosphere,  we  rivals  of  the 

ay  of  hght ;  and  that  we  should  like  best  to  r  de 

un  C  r  "T\  °'  ^"'^^'  "°'  *™y  fro"  he 
cannot  do  ""  """     T"'^''  however,  we 

cannot  do:_so  we  want  to  do  the  only  thing  that 
IS  m  our  power :  namely,  to  bring  light  to  the  earth 
we  want  to  be  « the  light  of  theVrth !  °  ITt 
that  purpose  we  have  our  wings  and  our  swiftness 
and  our  seventy,  on  that  account  we  are  manly  and 
even  ternble  like  the  fire.    Let  those  fear  us^who 


do  not  know  how  to  warm  and  brighten  themselves 
by  our  influence ! 


Against  the  Disparagers  of  Nature. — They  are 
disagreeable  to  me,  those  men  in  whom  every 
natural  inclination  forthwith  becomes  a  disease, 
something  disfiguring,  or  even  disgraceful.  They 
have  seduced  us  to  the  opinion  that  the  inclinations 
and  impulses  of  men  are  evil ;  they  are  the  cause 
of  our  great  injustice  to  our  own  nature,  and  to  all 
nature !  There  are  enough  of  men  who  may  yield 
to  their  impulses  gracefully  and  carelessly :  but 
they  do  not  do  so,  for  fear  of  that  imaginary  "  evil 
thing  "  in  nature !  That  is  the  cause  why  there  is 
so  little  nobility  to  be  found  among  men :  the 
indication  of  which  will  always  be  to  have  no  fear 
of  oneself,  to  expect  nothing  disgraceful  from 
oneself,  to  fly  without  hesitation  whithersoever  we 
are  impelled — we  free-born  birds !  Wherever  we 
come,  there  will  always  be  freedom  and  sunshine 
around  us,  ,  /      /  f{ 

295.  / 1 '  ^ytjummA^ 

Short-lived  Habits. — I    love    short-lived    habits,  ,|]si-7^ 
and    regard   them    as    an    invaluable    means  for  «h)1^(''**^. 
getting  a  knowledge  of  many  things  and  various     AL-^/La) 
conditions,  to  the  very  bottom  of  their  sweetness     '      ' 
and  bitterness  ;  my  nature  is  altogether  arranged 
for  short-lived   habits,  even   in   the   needs   of   its 
bodily  health,  and  in  general,  as  far  as  I  can  see, 
from   the    lowest  up   to   the   highest    matters,     I 
always    think    that    this  will   at   last   satisfy    me 
permanently  (the  short-lived   habit  has  also  this 



characteristic  belief  of  passion,  the  belief  in  ever- 
lasting duration ;  I  am  to  be  envied  for  having 
found  it  and  recognised  it),  and  then  it  nourishes 
me  at  noon  and  at  eve,  and  spreads  a  profound 
satisfaction  around  me  and  in  me,  so  that  I  have 
no  longing  for  anything  else,  not  needing  to 
compare,  or  despise,  or  hate.  But  one  day  the 
habit  has  had  its  time :  the  good  thing  separates 
from  me,  not  as  something  which  then  inspires 
disgust  in  me — but  peaceably,  and  as  though  satis- 
fied with  me,  as  I  am  with  it ;  as  if  we  had  to  be 
mutually  thankful,  and  thus  shook  hands  for 
farewell.  And  already  the  new  habit  waits  at  the 
door,  and  similarly  also  my  belief — indestructible 
fool  and  sage  that  I  am  ! — that  this  new  habit  will 
be  the  right  one,  the  ultimate  right  one.  So  it  is 
with  me  as  regards  foods,  thoughts,  men,  cities, 
poems,  music,  doctrines,  arrangements  of  the  day, 
and  modes  of  life. — On  the  other  hand,  I  hate 
1)ermanent  habits,  and  feel  as  if  a  tyrant  came 
into  my  neighbourhood,  and  as  if  my  life's  breath 
condensed,  when  events  take  such  a  form  that  per- 
manent habits  seem  necessarily  to  grow  out  of  them : 
for  example,  through  an  official  position,  through 
constant  companionship  with  the  same  persons, 
through  a  settled  abode,  or  through  a  uniform  state 
of  health.  Indeed,  from  the  bottom  of  my  soul  I 
am  gratefully  disposed  to  all  my  misery  and  sick- 
ness, and  to  whatever  is  imperfect  in  me,  because  such 
things  leave  me  a  hundred  back-doors  through  which 
I  can  escape  from  permanent  habits.  The  most 
unendurable  thing,  to  be  sure,  the  really  terrible 
thing,  would  be  a  life  without  habits,  a  life  which 


continually  required   improvisation  :  —  that  would 
be  my  banishment  and  my  Siberia. 

A   Fixed  Reputation. — A  fixed  reputation   was 
formerly  a  matter  of  the  very  greatest  utility  ;  and 
wherever  society   continues   to    be   ruled   by   the 
herd  -  instinct,  it   is  still   most   suitable  for   every 
individual  to  give  to   his   character   and   business 
the  appearance  of  unalterableness, — even  when  they 
are  not  so  in  reality.    "  One  can  rely  on  him,  he 
remains  the  same" — that  is  the  praise  which  has 
most  significance  in   all   dangerous   conditions  of 
society.     Society    feels   with    satisfaction    that    it 
has   a   reliable   tool    ready   at    all    times    in    the 
virtue  of  this  one,  in  the  ambition  of  that  one,  and 
in  the  reflection  and  passion  of  a  third  one, — it 
honours  this   tool-like  nature^  this   self-constancy, 
this    unchangeableness    in    opinions,    efforts,    and 
even  in  faults,  with  the  highest  honours.     Such 
a    valuation,   which    prevails    and    has    prevailed 
everywhere  simultaneously  with   the   morality  of 
custom,    educates    "characters,"    and    brings    all 
changing,   re-learning,  and  self- transforming    into 
disrepute.     Be    the    advantage    of   this    mode    of 
thinking  ever  so  great  otherwise,  it  is  in  any  case 
the  mode  of  judging  which  is  most   injurious  to 
knowledge:  for  precisely  the  good- will  of  the  know- 
ing one  ever  to  declare  himself  unhesitatingly  as 
opposed  to  his  former  opinions,  and  in  general  to 
be  distrustful  of  all  that  wants  to  be  fixed  in  him 
— is  here  condemned  and  brought  into  disrepute. 
The  disposition  of  the  thinker,  as  incompatible  with 


a  "  fixed  reputation,"  is  regarded  as  dishonourable, 
while  the  petrifaction  of  opinions  has  all  the  honour 
to  itself: — we  have  at  present  still  to  live  under  the 
interdict  of  such  rules !  How  difficult  it  is  to  live 
when  one  feels  that  the  judgment  of  many  millen- 
niums is  around  one  and  against  one.  It  is  prob- 
able that  for  many  millenniums  knowledge  was 
afflicted  with  a  bad  conscience,  and  there  must 
have  been  much  self-contempt  and  secret  misery  in 
the  history  of  the  greatest  intellects. 


Ability  to  Contradict. — Everyone  knows  at  present 
that  the  ability  to  endure  contradiction  is  a  good 
indication  of  culture.  Some  people  even  know 
that  the  higher  man  courts  opposition,  and  provokes 
it,  so  as  to  get  a  cue  to  his  hitherto  unknown  parti- 
ality. But  the  ability  to  contradict,  the  attainment 
of  a  good  conscience  in  hostility  to  the  accustomed, 
the  traditional  and  the  hallowed, — that  is  more  than 
both  the  above-named  abilities,  and  is  the  really 
great,  new  and  astonishing  thing  in  our  culture,  the 
step  of  all  steps  of  the  emancipated  intellect ;  who 
knows  that  ? — 


A  Sigh. — I  caught  this  notion  on  the  way,  and 
rapidly  took  the  readiest,  poor  words  to  hold  it 
fast,  so  that  it  might  not  again  fly  away.  But  it 
has  died  in  these  dry  words,  and  hangs  and  flaps 
about  in  them — and  now  I  hardly  know,  when  I 
look  upon  it,  how  I  could  have  had  such  happiness 
when  I  caught  this  bird. 



What  one  should  Learn  from  Artists. — What 
means  have  we  for  making  things  beautiful,  at- 
tractive, and  desirable,  when  they  are  not  so? — 
and  I  suppose  they  are  never  so  in  themselves  ! 
We  have  here  something  to  learn  from  physicians, 
when,  for  example,  they  dilute  what  is  bitter,  or 
put  wine  and  sugar  into  their  mixing-bowl ;  but  we 
have  still  more  to  learn  from  artists,  who  in  fact, 
are  continually  concerned  in  devising  such  in- 
ventions and  artifices.  To  withdraw  from  things 
until  one  no  longer  sees  much  of  them,  until  one 
has  even  to  see  things  into  them,  in  order  to  see 
them  at  all — or  to  view  them  from  the  side,  and 
as  in  a  frame  —  or  to  place  them  so  that  they 
partly  disguise  themselves  and  only  permit  of 
perspective  views — or  to  look  at  them  through 
coloured  glasses,  or  in  the  light  of  the  sunset — or 
to  furnish  them  with  a  surface  or  skin  which  is  not 
fully  transparent:  we  should  learn  all  this  from 
artists,  and  moreover  be  wiser  than  they.  For 
this  fine  power  of  theirs  usually  ceases  with  them 
where  art  ceases  and  life  begins  ;  we,  however,  want 
to  be  the  poets  of  our  lives,  and  first  of  all  in  the 
smallest  and  most  commonplace  matters. 


Prelude  to  Science. — Do  you  believe  then  that 
the  sciences  would  have  arisen  and  grown  up  if 
the  sorcerers,  alchemists,  astrologers  and  witches 
had  not  been  their  forerunners ;  those  who,  with 
their  promisings  and  foreshadowings,  had  first  to 


create  a  thirst,  a  hunger,  and  a  taste  for  hidden  and 
forbidden  powers  ?  Yea,  that  infinitely  more  had 
to  be  promised  than  could  ever  be  fulfilled,  in  order 
that  something  might  be  fulfilled  in  the  domain  of 
knowledge?  Perhaps  the  whole  of  religion,  also, 
may  appear  to  some  distant  age  as  an  exercise  and 
a  prelude,  in  like  manner  as  the  prelude  and  pre- 
paration of  science  here  exhibit  themselves,  though 
not  at  all  practised  and  regarded  as  such.  Perhaps 
religion  may  have  been  the  peculiar  means  for 
enabling  individual  men  to  enjoy  but  once  the 
entire  self-satisfaction  of  a  God  and  all  his  self- 
redeeming  power.  Indeed  ! — one  may  ask — would 
man  have  learned  at  all  to  get  on  the  tracks  of 
hunger  and  thirst  for  himself,  and  to  extract  satiety 
and  fullness  out  of  himself,  without  that  religious 
schooling  and  preliminary  history?  Had  Prome- 
theus first  to  fancy  that  he  had  stolen  the  light,  and 
that  he  did  penance  for  the  theft. — in  order  finally 
to  discover  that  he  had  created  the  light,  in  that  he 
had  longed  for  the  light,  and  that  not  only  nmn,  but 
also  God,  had  been  the  work  of  his  hands  and  the\ 
clay  in  his  hands  ?  All  mere  creations  of  the 
creator? — just  as  the  illusion,  the  theft,  the  Caucasus, 
the  vulture,  and  the  whole  tragic  Prometheia  of  all 
thinkers  ? 

Illusion  of  the  Contemplative. — Higher  men  are 
distinguished  from  lower,  by  seeing  and  hearing 
immensely  more,  and  in  a  thoughtful  manner — and 
it  is  precisely  this  that  distinguishes  man  from 
the  animal,  and  the  higher  animal  from  the 
lower.     The  world  always  becomes  fuller  for  him 


who  grows  up  to  the  full  stature  of  humanity  ; 
there  are  always  more  interesting  fishing-hooks, 
thrown  out  to  him  ;  the  number  of  his  stimuli  is 
continually  on  the  increase,  and  similarly  the 
varieties  of  his  pleasure  and  pain, — the  higher  man 
becomes  always  at  the  same  time  happier  and 
unhappier.  An  illusion^  however,  is  his  constant 
accompaniment  all  along  :  he  thinks  he  is  placed 
as  a  spectator  and  auditor  before  the  great 
pantomime  and  concert  of  life  ;  he  calls  his  nature 
a  contemplative  nature,  and  thereby  overlooks  the 
fact  that  he  himself  is  also  a  real  creator,  and 
continuous  poet  of  life, — that  he  no  doubt  differs 
greatly  from  the  actor  in  this  drama,  the  so-called 
practical  man,  but  differs  still  more  from  a  mere 
onlooker  or  spectator  before  the  stage.  There  is 
certainly  vis  contemplativa^  and  re-examination  of 
his  work  peculiar  to  him  as  poet,  but  at  the  same 
time,  and  first  and  foremost,  he  has  the  vis  creativa, 
which  the  practical  man  or  doer  lacks,  whatever 
appearance  and  current  belief  may  say  to  the 
contrary.  It  is  we,  who  think  and  feel,  that 
actually  and  unceasingly  make  something  which 
did  not  before  exist :  the  whole  eternally  increas- 
ing world  of  valuations,  colours,  weights,  per- 
spectives, gradations,  affirmations  and  negations. 
This  composition  of  ours  is  continually  learnt, 
practised,  and  translated  into  flesh  and  actuality, 
and  even  into  the  commonplace,  by  the  so-called 
practical  men  (our  actors,  as  we  have  said).  What- 
ever has  value  in  the  present  world,  has  not  it  in 
itself,  by  its  nature, — nature  is  always  worthless  : — 
but  a  value  was  once  given  to  it,  bestowed  upon  it 


and  it  was  we  who  gave  and  bestowed  !  We  only 
have  created  the  world  which  is  of  any  account 
to  man  ! — But  it  is  precisely  this  knowledge  that 
we  lack,  and  when  we  get  hold  of  it  for  a  moment 
we  have  forgotten  it  the  next :  we  misunderstand 
our  highest  power,  we  contemplative  men,  and 
estimate  ourselves  at  too  low  a  rate,  —  we  are 
neither  d&  proud  nor  as  happy  as  we  might  be. 

The  Danger  of  the  Happiest  Ones. — To  have  fine 
senses  and  a  fine  taste;  to  be  accustomed  to  the 
select  and  the  intellectually  best  as  our  proper  and 
readiest  fare;  to  be  blessed  with  a  strong,  bold, 
and  daring  soul;  to  go  through  life  with  a  quiet 
eye  and  a  firm  step,  ever  ready  for  the  worst  as  for 
a  festival,  and  full  of  longing  for  undiscovered 
worlds  and  seas,  men  and  Gods  ;  to  listen  to  all 
joyous  music,  as  if  there  perhaps  brave  men, 
soldiers  and  seafarers,  took  a  brief  repose  and 
enjoyment,  and  in  the  profoundest  pleasure  of  the 
moment  were  overcome  with  tears  and  the  whole 
purple  melancholy  of  happiness :  who  would  not 
like  all  this  to  be  his  possession,  his  condition !  It 
was  the  happiness  of  Homer !  The  condition  of 
him  who  invented  the  Gods  for  the  Greeks, — nay, 
who  invented  his  Gods  for  himself!  But  let  us  not 
conceal  the  fact  that  with  this  happiness  of  Homer 
in  one's  soul,  one  is  more  liable  to  suffering  than 
any  other  creature  under  the  sun !  And  only  at 
this  price  do  we  purchase  the  most  precious  pearl 
that  the  waves  of  existence  have  hitherto  washed 
ashore  1    As  its  possessor  one  always  becomes  more 


sensitive  to  pain,  and  at  last  too  sensitive :  a 
little  displeasure  and  loathing  sufficed  in  the  end 
to  make  Homer  disgusted  with  life.  He  was 
unable  to  solve  a  foolish  little  riddle  which  some 
young  fishers  proposed  to  him !  Yes,  the  little 
riddles  are  the  dangers  of  the  happiest  ones  ! — 

Two  Happy  Ones. — Certainly  this  man,  notwith- 
standing his  youth,  understands  the  improvisation 
of  life,  and  astonishes  even  the  acutest  observers. 
For  it  seems  that  he  never  makes  a  mistake, 
although  he  constantly  plays  the  most  hazardous 
games.  One  is  reminded  of  the  improvising  masters 
of  the  musical  art,  to  whom  even  the  listeners 
would  fain  ascribe  a  divine  infallibility  of  the 
hand,  notwithstanding  that  they  now  and  then 
make  a  mistake,  as  every  mortal  is  liable  to  do. 
But  they  are  skilled  and  inventive,  and  always 
ready  in  a  moment  to  arrange  into  the  structure 
of  the  score  the  most  accidental  tone  (where  the 
jerk  of  a  finger  or  a  humour  brings  it  about),  and 
to  animate  the  accident  with  a  fine  meaning  and 
soul. — Here  is  quite  a  different  man ;  everything 
that  he  intends  and  plans  fails  with  him  in  the  long 
run.  That  on  which  he  has  now  and  again  set  his 
heart  has  already  brought  him  several  times  to  the 
abyss,  and  to  the  very  verge  of  ruin  ;  and  if  he  has 
as  yet  got  out  of  the  scrape,  it  certainly  has  not 
been  merely  with  a  "black  eye."  Do  you  think 
he  is  unhappy  over  it?  He  resolved  long  ago 
not  to  regard  his  own  wishes  and  plans  as  of  so 
much  importance.     "If  this  does  not  succeed  with 


me,"  he  says  to  himself,  "  perhaps  that  will  succeed  ; 
and  on  the  whole  I  do  not  know  but  that  I  am 
under  more  obligation  to  thank  my  failures  than 
any  of  my  successes.  Am  I  made  to  be  headstrong, 
and  to  wear  the  bull's  horns?  That  which  con- 
stitutes the  worth  and  the  sum  of  life  for  me,  lies 
somewhere  else ;  I  know  more  of  life,  because  I 
have  been  so  often  on  the  point  of  losing  it ;  and 
just  on  that  account  I  have  more  of  life  than  any 
of  you!" 


In  Doing  we  Leave  Undone. — In  the  main  all 
those  moral  systems  are  distasteful  to  me  which  say : 
"  Do  not  do  this  !  Renounce !  Overcome  thyself! " 
On  the  other  hand  I  am  favourable  to  those  moral 
systems  which  stimulate  me  to  do  something,  and 
to  do  it  again  from  morning  till  evening,  to  dream 
of  it  at  night,  and  think  of  nothing  else  but  to 
do  it  well^  as  well  as  is  possible  for  me  alone! 
From  him  who  so  lives  there  fall  off  one  after  the 
other  the  things  that  do  not  pertain  to  such  a  life : 
without  hatred  or  antipathy,  he  sees  this  take  leave 
of  him  to-day,  and  that  to-morrow,  like  the  yellow 
leaves  which  every  livelier  breeze  strips  from  the 
tree :  or  he  does  not  see  at  all  that  they  take  leave 
of  him,  so  firmly  is  his  eye  fixed  upon  his  goal, 
and  generally  forward,  not  sideways,  backward, 
or  downward.  "  Our  doing  must  determine  what 
we  leave  undone  ;  in  that  we  do,  we  leave  undone  " 
— so  it  pleases  me,  so  runs  my  placitum.  But  I 
do  not  mean  to  strive  with  open  eyes  for  my 
impoverishment ;  I  do  not  like  any  of  the  negative 


virtues  whose  very  essence  is  negation  and  self- 

Self-control.  — ThosQ   moral   teachers   who   first 
and  foremost  order  man  to   get  himself  into  his 
own  power,  induce  thereby  a  curious  infirmity  in 
him, — namely,  a  constant  sensitiveness  with  refer- 
ence to  all  natural  strivings  and  inclinations,  and 
as  it  were,  a  sort  of  itching.     Whatever  may  hence- 
forth drive  him,  draw  him,  allure  or  impel  him, 
whether  internally  or  externally— it  always  seems 
to  this  sensitive  being  as  if  his  self-control  were 
in   danger:    he   is   no   longer  at   liberty  to   trust 
himself  to   any  instinct,   to   any   free   flight,   but 
stands    constantly    with    defensive    mien,   armed 
against   himself,   with   sharp    distrustful   eye,   the 
eternal  watcher  of  his  stronghold,  to  which  office 
he  has  appointed  himself.     Yes,  he  can  be  great  in 
that  position !     But  how  unendurable  he  has  now 
become  to  others,  how  difficult  even  for  himself 
to  bear,  how  impoverished  and  cut  off  from  the 
finest  accidents  of  his  soul !     Yea,  even  from  all 
further  instruction  !     For  we  must  be  able  to  lose 
ourselves  at  times,  if  we  want  to  learn  something 
of  what  we  have  not  in  ourselves. 


Stoic  and  Epicurean. — The  Epicurean  selects  the 
situations,  the  persons,  and  even  the  events  which 
suit  his  extremely  sensitive,  intellectual  constitu- 
tion ;  he  renounces  the  rest— that  is  to  say,  by  far 
the  greater  part  of  experience — because  it  would  be 


too  Strong  and  too  heavy  fare  for  him.  The  Stoic, 
on  the  contrary,  accustoms  himself  to  swallow 
stones  and  vermin,  glass-splinters  and  scorpions, 
without  feeling  any  disgust :  his  stomach  is  meant 
to  become  indifferent  in  the  end  to  all  that  the 
accidents  of  existence  cast  into  it: — he  reminds 
one  of  the  Arabic  sect  of  the  Assaua,  with  which 
the  French  became  acquainted  in  Algiers;  and 
like  those  insensible  persons,  he  also  likes  well 
to  have  an  invited  public  at  the  exhibition  of  his 
insensibility,  the  very  thing  the  Epicurean  willingly 
dispenses  with  : — he  has  of  course  his  "  garden  " ! 
Stoicism  may  be  quite  advisable  for  men  with 
whom  fate  improvises,  for  those  who  live  in  violent 
times  and  are  dependent  on  abrupt  and  change- 
able individuals.  He,  however,  who  anticipates 
that  fate  will  permit  him  to  spin  "  a  long  thread," 
does  well  to  make  his  arrangements  in  Epicurean 
fashion ;  all  men  devoted  to  intellectual  labour 
have  done  it  hitherto !  For  it  would  be  a  supreme 
loss  to  them  to  forfeit  their  fine  sensibility,  and 
to  acquire  the  hard,  stoical  hide  with  hedgehog 
prickles  in  exchange. 

In  Favour  of  Criticism. — Something  now  appears 
to  thee  as  an  error  which  thou  formerly  lovedst  as 
a  truth,  or  as  a  probability :  thou  pushest  it  from 
thee  and  imaginest  that  thy  reason  has  there 
gained  a  victory.  But  perhaps  that  error  was 
then,  when  thou  wast  still  another  person— thou 
art  always  another  person, — ^just  as  necessary  to 
thee  as  all  thy  present  "  truths,"  like  a  skin,  as  it 


were,  which  concealed  and  veiled  from  thee  much 
which  thou  still  mayst  not  see.  Thy  new  life,  and 
not  thy  reason,  has  slain  that  opinion  for  thee: 
thou  dost  not  require  it  any  longer,  and  now  it 
breaks  down  of  its  own  accord,  and  the  irra- 
tionality crawls  out  of  it  as  a  worm  into  the 
light.  When  we  make  use  of  criticism  it  is  not 
something  arbitrary  and  impersonal, — it  is,  at  least 
very  often,  a  proof  that  there  are  lively,  active 
forces  in  us,  which  cast  a  skin.  We  deny,  and 
must  deny,  because  something  in  us  wants  to  live 
and  affirm  itself,  something  which  we  perhaps  do 
not  as  yet  know,  do  not  as  yet  see ! — So  much  in 
favour  of  criticism. 


The  History  of  each  Day. — What  is  it  that  con- 
stitutes the  history  of  each  day  for  thee  ?  Look 
at  thy  habits  of  which  it  consists:  are  they  the 
product  of  numberless  little  acts  of  cowardice  and 
laziness,  or  of  thy  bravery  and  inventive  reason  ? 
Although  the  two  cases  are  so  different,  it  is 
possible  that  men  might  bestow  the  same  praise 
upon  thee,  and  that  thou  mightst  also  be  equally 
useful  to  them  in  the  one  case  as  in  the  other. 
But  praise  and  utility  and  respectability  may 
suffice  for  him  whose  only  desire  is  to  have  a  good 
conscience, — not  however  for  thee,  the  "  trier  of  the 
reins,"  who  hast  a  consciousness  of  the  conscience  ! 

Out    of  the    Seventh    Solitude. — One    day   the 
wanderer  shut  a  door  behind  him,  stood  still,  and 


wept.  Then  he  said:  "Oh,  this  inclination  and 
impulse  towards  the  true,  the  real,  the  non- 
apparent,  the  certain!  How  I  detest  it!  Why 
does  this  gloomy  and  passionate  taskmaster  follow 
just  me?  I  should  like  to  rest,  but  it  does  not 
permit  me  to  do  so.  Are  there  not  a  host  of  things 
seducing  me  to  tarry!  Everywhere  there  are 
gardens  of  Armida  for  me,  and  therefore  there  will 
ever  be  fresh  separations  and  fresh  bitterness  of 
heart!  I  must  set  my  foot  forward,  my  weary 
wounded  foot :  and  because  I  feel  I  must  do  this,  I 
often  cast  grim  glances  back  at  the  most  beautiful 
things  which  could  not  detain  me — because  they 
could  not  detain  me ! " 

Will  and  Wave. — How  eagerly  this  wave  comes 
hither,  as  if  it  were  a  question  of  its  reaching  some- 
thing !  How  it  creeps  with  frightful  haste  into  the 
innermost  corners  of  the  rocky  cliff !  It  seems  that  it 
wants  to  forestall  some  one  ;  it  seems  that  some- 
thing is  concealed  there  that  has  value,  high  value. 

And  now  it  retreats  somewhat  more  slowly,  still 

quite  white  with  excitement,— is  it  disappointed? 
Has  it  found  what  it  sought?  Does  it  merely 
pretend  to  be  disappointed  ?— But  already  another 
wave  approaches,  still  more  eager  and  wild  than 
the  first,  and  its  soul  also  seems  to  be  full  of  secrets, 
and  of  longing  for  treasure-seeking.  Thus  live 
the  waves, — thus  live  we  who  exercise  will ! — I  do 
not  say  more.— But  what !  Ye  distrust  me  ?  Ye  are 
angry  at  me,  ye  beautiful  monsters  ?  Do  ye  fear 
that  I  will  quite  betray  your  secret?     Well !     Just 


be  angry  with  me,  raise  your  green,  dangerous 
bodies  as  high  as  ye  can,  make  a  wall  between  me 
and  the  sun — as  at  present !  Verily,  there  is  now 
nothing  more  left  of  the  world  save  green  twilight 
and  green  lightning-flashes.  Do  as  ye  will,  ye 
wanton  creatures,  roar  with  delight  and  wickedness 
— or  dive  under  again,  pour  your  emeralds  down 
into  the  depths,  and  cast  your  endless  white  tresses 
of  foam  and  spray  over  them — it  is  all  the  same  to 
me,  for  all  is  so  well  with  you,  and  I  am  so  pleased 
with  you  for  it  all :  how  could  I  betray  you  !  For 
— take  this  to  heart ! — I  know  you  and  your  secret, 
I  know  your  race !  You  and  I  are  indeed  of  one 
race !     You  and  I  have  indeed  one  secret ! 


Broken  Lights. — We  are  not  always  brave,  and 
when  we  are  weary,  people  of  our  stamp  are 
liable  to  lament  occasionally  in  this  wise : — "  It  is 
so  hard  to  cause  pain  to  men — oh,  that  it  should 
be  necessary !  What  good  is  it  to  live  concealed, 
when  we  do  not  want  to  keep  to  ourselves  that 
which  causes  vexation?  Would  it  not  be  more 
advisable  to  live  in  the  madding  crowd,  and  com- 
pensate individuals  for  sins  that  are  committed,  and 
must  be  committed,  against  mankind  in  general  ? 
Foolish  with  fools,  vain  with  the  vain,  enthusiastic 
with  enthusiasts?  Would  that  not  be  reasonable 
when  there  is  such  an  inordinate  amount  of 
divergence  in  the  main  ?  When  I  hear  of  the 
malignity  of  others  against  me — is  not  my  first 
feeling  that  of  satisfaction?  It  is  well  that  it 
should  be  so ! — I  seem  to  myself  to  say  to  them — 


I  am  so  little  in  harmony  with  you,  and  have  so 
much  truth  on  my  side :  see  henceforth  that  ye  be 
merry  at  my  expense  as  often  as  ye  can !  Here 
are  my  defects  and  mistakes,  here  are  my 
illusions,  my  bad  taste,  my  confusion,  my  tears, 
my  vanity,  my  owlish  concealment,  my  contradic- 
tions! Here  you  have  something  to  laugh  at! 
Laugh  then,  and  enjoy  yourselves!  I  am  not 
averse  to  the  law  and  nature  of  things,  which  is 
that  defects  and  errors  should  give  pleasure !— To 
be  sure,  there  were  once  '  more  glorious '  times, 
when  as  soon  as  any  one  got  an  idea,  however 
moderately  new  it  might  be,  he  would  think  him- 
self so  indispensable  as  to  go  out  into  the  street 
with  it,  and  call  to  everybody:  'Behold!  the 
kingdom  of  heaven  is  at  hand!'— I  should  not 
miss  myself,  if  I  were  a-wanting.  We  are  none  of 
us  indispensable !  "—As  we  have  said,  however,  we 
do  not  think  thus  when  we  are  brave ;  we  do  not 
think  about  it  at  all. 


j^y  Dog. — I  have  given  a  name  to  my  pain, 
and  call  it  "a  dog,"— it  is  just  as  faithful,  just  as 
importunate  and  shameless,  just  as  entertaining, 
just  as  wise,  as  any  other  dog— and  I  can  domineer 
over  it,  and  vent  my  bad  humour  on  it,  as  others 
do  with  their  dogs,  servants,  and  wives. 


No  Picture  of  a  Martyr.— \  will  take  my  cue 
from  Raphael,  and   not   paint  any  more  martyr- 


pictures.  There  are  enough  of  subh'me  things 
without  its  being  necessary  to  seek  sublimity  where 
it  is  linked  with  cruelty;  moreover  my  ambition 
would  not  be  gratified  in  the  least  if  I  aspired  to 
be  a  sublime  executioner. 

New  Domestic  Animals. — I  want  to  have  my 
lion  and  my  eagle  about  me,  that  I  may  always 
have  hints  and  premonitions  concerning  the  amount 
of  my  strength  or  weakness.  Must  I  look  down  on 
them  to-day,  and  be  afraid  of  them?  And  will 
the  hour  come  once  more  when  they  will  look  up 
to  me,  and  tremble  ? — 

The  Last  Hour. — Storms  are  my  danger.  Shall 
I  have  my  storm  in  which  I  perish,  as  Oliver 
Cromwell  perished  in  his  storm?  Or  shall  I 
go  out  as  a  light  does,  not  first  blown  out  by 
the  wind,  but  grown  tired  and  weary  of  itseli — a 
burnt-out  light?  Or  finally,  shall  I  blow  myself 
out,  so  as  not  to  burn  out? 


Prophetic  Men. — Ye  cannot  divine  how  sorely 
prophetic  men  suffer:  ye  think  only  that  a  fine 
"gift"  has  been  given  to  them,  and  would  fain  have  it 
yourselves, — but  I  will  express  my  meaning  by  a 
simile.  How  much  may  not  the  animals  suffer  from 
the  electricity  ot  the  atmosphere  and  the  clouds ! 
Some  of  them,  as  we  see,  have  a  prophetic  faculty 
with   regard    to   the   weather,   for   example,   apes 


(as  one  can  observe  very  well  even  in  Europe, — 
and  not  only  in  menageries,  but  at  Gibraltar).  But 
it  never  occurs  to  us  that  it  is  their  sufferings — that 
are  their  prophets !  When  strong  positive  elec- 
tricity, under  the  influence  of  an  approaching 
cloud  not  at  all  visible,  is  suddenly  converted 
into  negative  electricity,  and  an  alteration  of  the 
weather  is  imminent,  these  animals  then  behave 
as  if  an  enemy  were  approaching  them,  and  pre- 
pare for  defence,  or  flight :  they  generally  hide 
themselves, — they  do  not  think  of  the  bad  weather 
as  weather,  but  as  an  enemy  whose  hand  they 
already  ^^// 

Retrospect. — We  seldom  become  conscious  of  the 
real  pathos  of  any  period  of  life  as  such,  as  long 
as  we  continue  in  it,  but  always  think  it  is 
the  only  possible  and  reasonable  thing  for  us 
henceforth,  and  that  it  is  altogether  ethos  and  not 
pathos  * — to  speak  and  distinguish  like  the  Greeks. 
A  few  notes  of  music  to-day  recalled  a  winter  and 
a  house,  and  a  life  of  utter  solitude  to  my  mind, 
and  at  the  same  time  the  sentiments  in  which  I 
then  lived :  I  thought  I  should  be  able  to  live 
in  such  a  state  always.  But  now  I  understand 
that  it  was  entirely  pathos  and  passion,  something 
comparable  to  this  painfully  bold  and  truly  com- 
forting music, — it  is  not  one's   lot  to  have  these 

*  The  distinction  between  ethos  and  pathos  in  ^ristotle 
is,  broadly,  that  between  internal  character  and  external 
circumstance. — P.  V.  C. 


sensations  for  years,  still  less  for  eternities :  other- 
wise one  would  become  too   "ethereal"   for  this 



Wisdom  in  Pain.— In   pain   there  is  as   much 

wisdom  as  in  pleasure :  like  the  latter  it  is  one  of 

the  best  self-preservatives  of  a  species.     Were  it  not 

so,  pain  would  long  ago  have  been  done  away  with  ; 

that  it   is  hurtful   is  no  argument  against  it,  for 

to  be  hurtful  is  its  very  essence.     In  pain  I  hear 

the  commanding  call  of  the  ship's  captain  :  "  Take 

in   sail!"     "Man,"  the  bold   seafarer,  must  have 

learned  to  set  his  sails  in  a  thousand  different  ways, 

otherwise  he  could  not  have  sailed  long,  for  the 

ocean  would  soon  have  swallowed  him  up.     We 

must  also  know  how  to  live  with  reduced  energy  : 

as  soon  as  pain  gives  its  precautionary  signal,  it  is 

time  to   reduce    the    speed— some   great  danger, 

some  storm,  is  approaching,  and  we   do   well   to 

"  catch  "  as  little  wind  as  possible.— It  is  true  that 

there  are  men  who,  on  the  approach  of  severe  pain, 

hear  the  very  opposite  call  of  command,  and  never 

appear  more  proud,  more  martial,  or  more  happy 

than  when  the  storm   is   brewing;    indeed,   pain 

itself  provides  them  with  their  supreme  moments ! 

These  are  the  heroic  men,  the  great  pain-hringers 

of  mankind :   those  few  and  rare  ones  who  need 

just  the   same    apology   as   pain   generally,— and 

verily,  it  should  not  be  denied  them!     They  are 

forces  of  the  greatest  importance  for  preserving  and 

advancing  the  species,  be  it  only  because  they  are 

opposed  to  smug  ease,  and  do  not  conceal  their 

disgust  at  this  kind  of  happiness. 


As  Interpreters  of  our  Experiences. — One  form  of 
honesty  has  always  been  lacking  among  founders 
of  religions  and  their  kin  : — they  have  never  made 
their  experiences  a  matter  of  the  intellectual  con- 
science. "  What  did  I  really  experience  ?  What 
then  took  place  in  me  and  around  me  ?  Was  my 
understanding  clear  enough?  Was  my  will 
directly  opposed  to  all  deception  of  the  senses, 
and  courageous  in  its  defence  against  fan- 
tastic notions?"  —  None  of  them  ever  asked 
these  questions,  nor  to  this  day  do  any  of  the 
good  religious  people  ask  them.  They  have  rather 
a  thirst  for  things  which  are  contrary  to  reason, 
and  they  don't  want  to  have  too  much  difficulty 
in  satisfying  this  thirst, — so  they  experience 
"miracles"  and  "regenerations,"  and  hear  the 
voices  of  angels !  But  we  who  are  different,  who 
are  thirsty  for  reason,  want  to  look  as  carefully  into 
our  experiences  as  in  the  case  of  a  scientific  ex- 
periment, hour  by  hour,  day  by  day!  We  our- 
selves want  to  be  our  own  experiments,  and  our 
own  subjects  of  experiment. 


On  Meeting  Again. — A  :  Do  I  quite  understand 
you  ?  You  are  in  search  of  something  ?  Where, 
in  the  midst  of  the  present,  actual  world,  is,  your 
niche  and  star?  Where  can  you  lay  yourself  in 
the  sun,  so  that  you  also  may  have  a  surplus  of 
well-being,  that  your  existence  may  justify  itself? 
Let  everyone  do  that  for  himself— you  seem  to  say, 


— and  let  him  put  talk  about  generalities,  concern 
for  others  and  society,  out  of  his  mind ! — B :  I 
want  more  ;  I  am  no  seeker.  I  want  to  create  my 
own  sun  for  myself. 

A  New  Precaution. — Let  us  no  longer  think  so 
much  about  punishing,  blaming,  and  improving! 
We  shall  seldom  be  able  to  alter  an  individual,  and 
if  we  should  succeed  in  doing  so,  something  else 
may  also  succeed,  perhaps  unawares  :  we  may  have 
been  altered  by  him  !  Let  us  rather  see  to  it  that 
our  own  influence  on  all  that  is  to  come  outweighs 
and  overweighs  his  influence !  Let  us  not  struggle 
in  direct  conflict! — all  blaming,  punishing,  and 
desire  to  improve  comes  under  this  category. 
But  let  us  elevate  ourselves  all  the  higher!  Let 
us  ever  give  to  our  pattern  more  shining  colours ! 
Let  us  obscur^  the  other  by  our  light !  No !  We 
do  not  mean  to  become  darker  ourselves  on  his 
account,  like  those  who  punish  and  are  discontented  I 
Let  us  rather  go  aside !     Let  us  look  away  I 

A  Simile, — Those  thinkers  in  whom  all  the  stars 
move  in  cyclic  orbits,  are  not  the  most  profound. 
He  who  looks  into  himself,  as  into  an  immense 
universe,  and  carries  Milky  Ways  in  himself,  knows 
also  how  irregular  all  Milky  Ways  are ;  they  lead 
into  the  very  chaos  and  labyrinth  of  existence. 

Happiness  in  Destiny. — Destiny  confers  its  great- 
est distinction  upon  us  when  it  has  made  us  fight 


for  a  time  on  the  side  of  our  adversaries.     We  are 
thereby  predestined  to  a  great  victory. 


In  Media  Vita. — No !  Life  has  not  deceived 
nne !  On  the  contrary,  from  year  to  year  I  find  it 
richer,  more  desirable  and  more  mysterious — from 
the  day  on  which  the  great  liberator  broke  my 
fetters,  the  thought  that  life  may  be  an  experiment 
of  the  thinker — and  not  a  duty,  not  a  fatality,  not 
a  deceit ! — And  knowledge  itself  may  be  for  others 
something  different ;  for  example,  a  bed  of  ease, 
or  the  path  to  a  bed  of  ease,  or  an  entertainment, 
or  a  course  of  idling, — for  me  it  is  a  world  of 
dangers  and  victories,  in  which  even  the  heroic 
sentiments  have  their  arena  and  dancing-floor. 
^^ Life  as  a  means  to  knowledge" — with  this  prin- 
ciple in  one's  heart,  one  can  not  only  be  brave, 
but  can  even  live  joyfully  and  laugh  joyfully  I  And 
who  could  know  how  to  laugh  well  and  live  well, 
who  did  not  first  understand  the  full  significance 
of  war  and  victory  ? 


What  Belongs  to  Greatness. — Who  can  attain  to 
anything  great  if  he  does  not  feel  in  himself  the 
force  and  will  to  inflict  great  pain?  The  ability 
to  suffer  is  a  small  matter:  in  that  line,  weak 
women  and  even  slaves  often  attain  masterliness. 
But  not  to  perish  from  internal  distress  and  doubt 
when  one  inflicts  great  suffering  and  hears  the  cry 
of  it — that  is  great,  that  belongs  to  greatness. 



Physicians  of  the  Soul  and  Pain. — All  preachers 
of  morality,  as  also  all  theologians,  have  a  bad 
habit  in  common  :  all  of  them  try  to  persuade 
man  that  he  is  very  ill,  and  that  a  severe,  final, 
radical  cure  is  necessary.  And  because  mankind  as 
a  whole  has  for  centuries  listened  too  eagerly  to 
those  teachers,  something  of  the  superstition  that 
the  human  race  is  in  a  very  bad  way  has  actually 
come  over  men  :  so  that  they  are  now  far  too  ready 
to  sigh ;  they  find  nothing  more  in  life  and  make 
melancholy  faces  at  each  other,  as  if  life  were 
indeed  very  hard  to  endure.  In  truth,  they  are 
inordinately  assured  of  their  life  and  in  love  with 
it,  and  full  of  untold  intrigues  and  subtleties  for 
suppressing  everything  disagreeable,  and  for  ex- 
tracting the  thorn  from  pain  and  misfortune.  It 
seems  to  me  that  people  always  speak  with  ex- 
aggeration about  pain  and  misfortune,  as  if  it  were 
a  matter  of  good  behaviour  to  exaggerate  here: 
on  the  other  hand  people  are  intentionally  silent 
in  regard  to  the  number  of  expedients  for  alleviat- 
ing pain ;  as  for  instance,  the  deadening  of  it, 
feverish  flurry  of  thought,  a  peaceful  position,  or 
good  and  bad  reminiscences,  intentions,  and  hopes, 
— also  many  kinds  of  pride  and  fellow-feeling,  which 
have  almost  the  effect  of  anaesthetics  :  while  in  the 
greatest  degree  of  pain  fainting  takes  place  of  itself. 
We  understand  very  well  how  to  pour  sweetness 
on  our  bitterness,  especially  on  the  bitterness  of 
our  soul ;  we  find  a  remedy  in  our  bravery  and 
sublimity,  as  well  as  in  the  nobler  delirium  of  sub- 


mission  and  resignation.  A  loss  scarcely  remains 
a  loss  for  an  hour  :  in  some  way  or  other  a  gift  from 
heaven  has  always  fallen  into  our  lap  at  the  same 
moment — a  new  form  of  strength,  for  example: 
be  it  but  a  new  opportunity  for  the  exercise  of 
strength !  What  have  the  preachers  of  morality 
not  dreamt  concerning  the  inner  '*  misery  "  of  evil 
men !  What  lies  have  they  not  told  us  about  the 
misfortunes  of  impassioned  men  !  Yes,  lying  is  here 
the  right  word :  they  were  only  too  well  aware  of 
the  overflowing  happiness  of  this  kind  of  man,  but 
they  kept  silent  as  death  about  it ;  because  it  was 
a  refutation  of  their  theory,  according  to  which 
happiness  only  originates  through  the  annihilation 
of  the  passions  and  the  silencing  of  the  will !  And 
finally,  as  regards  the  recipe  of  all  those  physicians 
of  the  soul  and  their  recommendation  of  a  severe 
radical  cure,  we  may  be  allowed  to  ask :  Is  our 
life  really  painful  and  burdensome  enough  for  us 
to  exchange  it  with  advantage  for  a  Stoical  mode 
of  living,  and  Stoical  petrification  ?  We  do  not  feel 
sufficiently  miserable  to  have  to  feel  ill  in  the 
Stoical  fashion ! 

Taking  Things  Seriously. — The  intellect  is  with 
most  people  an  awkward,  obscure  and  creaking 
machine,  which  is  difficult  to  set  in  motion :  they 
call  it  "  taking  a  thing  seriously  "  when  they  work 
with  this  machine  and  want  to  think  well — oh, 
how  burdensome  must  good  thinking  be  to  them  ! 
That  delightful  animal,  man,  seems  to  lose  his  good- 
humour  whenever  he  thinks  well ;  he  becomes 
«<  serious "  !     And  "  where   there   is   laughing  and 


gaiety,  thinking  cannot  be  worth  anything:" — so 
speaks  the  prejudice  of  this  serious  animal  against 
all  "  Joyful  Wisdom."— Well,  then  !  Let  us  show 
that  it  is  prejudice ! 

Doing  Harm  to  Stupidity.— It  is  certain  that  the 
belief  in  the  reprehensibility  of  egoism,  preached 
with  such  stubbornness  and  conviction,  has  on  the 
whole  done  harm  to  egoism  {in  favour  of  the  herd- 
instinct,  as  I  shall  repeat  a  hundred  times !),  especi- 
ally by  depriving  it  of  a  good  conscience,  and  by 
bidding  us  seek  in  it  the  source  of  all  misfortune. 
"  Thy  selfishness  is  the  bane  of  thy  life  "—so  rang 
the  preaching  for  millenniums  :  it  did  harm,  as  we 
have  said,  to  selfishness,  and  deprived  it  of  much 
spirit,   much    cheerfulness,    much    ingenuity,   and 
much    beauty;    it    stultified    and    deformed    and 
poisoned  selfishness! — Philosophical  antiquity,  on 
the    other  hand,   taught  that   there   was  another 
principal  source  of  evil :  from  Socrates  downwards, 
the  thinkers  were  never  weary  of  preaching  that 
"your    thoughtlessness    and    stupidity,    your    un- 
thinking way  of    living    according    to    rule,   and 
your  subjection  to  the  opinion  of  your  neighbour, 
are   the   reasons   why   you    so    seldom    attain   to 
happiness,— we    thinkers    are,    as    thinkers,    the 
happiest   of  mortals."     Let    us    not    decide    here 
whether  this  preaching  against  stupidity  was  more 
sound  than  the  preaching  against   selfishness  ;   it 
is   certain,   however,   that   stupidity   was    thereby 
deprived  of  its  good  conscience: — those  philoso- 
phers did  harm  to  stupidity. 



Leisure    and    Idleness.  — Th^r^    fc    n„     t  ^. 
savagery,  a  savagery  peculiar  to  The  Indfan  itZ 

Told     ""'rr  'r'"''^''  *^  Americans  strTve  after' 
gold:   and  the   breathless  hurry  of  their  work 
the  characteristic  vice  of  the  New  WorldlaTead^ 

lectuar     on^,  °'"'  "  ^  ^"-^"ge  lack  of  intel- 
ectuality.     One  is  now  ashamed  of  repose-  ev^n 

Thfni:i„"r  irdo'""'^^"^^  ■•^"■°-  of  r„:cie:: 

atraid  of  opportunities  slip."    "Better  L 
anythmg  whatever,  than  nothing  "-this  or  !.;  1 
also  ,s  a  noose  with  which  al!  cultu  e  Ind  aH 
higher  taste  may  be  strangled.    And  just  "s  a 
form  obviously  disappears  in  this  hurry  o?  worker 

in    ihterco^  se'' with    friends""  ""'  "^^  '"^"°"^' 

C"  fo°;  Sn^ornLtr^u";  :f  ■■-  "-^ 

consume  hfs  intellect  even  fT      u        •  P^''°"   ^° 
real  virtue  nowadays  is  to  do  something  in  a 


shorter  time  than  another  person.  And  so  there 
are  only  rare  hours  of  sincere  intercourse  per mt  Ued  : 
in  them,  however,  people  are  tired,  and  would 
not  only  like  "to  let  themselves  go,"  but  to 
stretch  their  legs  out  wide  in  awkward  style. 
The  way  people  write  their  letters  nowadays  is 
quite  in  keeping  with  the  age ;  their  style  and 
spirit  will  always  be  the  true  "  sign  of  the  times." 
If  there  be  still  enjoyment  in  society  and  in  art, 
it  is  enjoyment  such  as  over-worked  slaves  provide 
for  themselves.  Oh,  this  moderation  in  "joy"  of 
our  cultured  and  uncultured  classes !  Oh,  this 
increasing  suspiciousness  of  all  enjoyment !  Work 
is  winning  over  more  and  more  the  good  conscience 
to  its  side :  the  desire  for  enjoyment  already  calls 
itself  "  need  of  recreation,"  and  even  begins  to  be 
ashamed  of  itself.  "  One  owes  it  to  one's  health," 
people  say, when  theyare  caught  at  a  picnic.  Indeed, 
it  might  soon  go  so  far  that  one  could  not  yield  to 
the  desire  for  the  vita  contemplativa  (that  is  to  say, 
excursions  with  thoughts  and  friends),  without  self- 
contempt  and  a  bad  conscience. — Well !  Formerly 
it  was  the  very  reverse  :  it  was  "action"  that  suffered 
from  a  bad  conscience.  A  man  of  good  family 
concealed  his  work  when  need  compelled  him  to 
labour.  The  slave  laboured  under  the  weight  of 
the  feeling  that  he  did  something  contemptible  : — 
the  "doing"  itself  was  something  contemptible. 
"  Only  in  otium  and  belluni  is  there  nobility 
and  honour : "  so  rang  the  voice  of  ancient  pre- 
judice I 


Applause. — The  thinker  does  not  need  applause 
or  the  clapping  of  hands,  provided  he  be  sure  of 
the  clapping  of  his  own  hands  :  the  latter,  however, 
he  cannot  do  without.  Are  there  men  who  could 
also  do  without  this,  and  in  general  without  any- 
kind  of  applause  ?  I  doubt  it :  and  even  as  regards 
the  wisest,  Tacitus,  who  is  no  calumniator  of  the 
wise,  says :  quando  etiam  sapientibus  glories  cupido 
novissima  exuitur — that  means  with  him  :  never. 

Better  Deaf  than  Deafened, — Formerly  a  person 
wanted  to  have  his  callings  but  that  no  longer  suffices 
to-day,  for  the  market  has  become  too  large, — 
there  has  now  to  be  bawling.  The  consequence 
is  that  even  good  throats  outcry  each  other,  and 
the  best  wares  are  offered  for  sale  with  hoarse  voices; 
without  market-place  bawling  and  hoarseness  there 
is  now  no  longer  any  genius. — It  is,  sure  enough, 
an  evil  age  for  the  thinker :  he  has  to  learn  to  find 
his  stillness  betwixt  two  noises,  and  has  to  pretend 
to  be  deaf  until  he  finally  becomes  so.  As  long  as 
he  has  not  learned  this,  he  is  in  danger  of  perishing 
from  impatience  and  headaches. 

The  Evil  Hour. — There  has  perhaps  been  an 
evil  hour  for  every  philosopher,  in  which  he  thought : 
What  do  I  matter,  if  people  should  not  believe  my 
poor  arguments! — And  then  some  malicious  bird 
has  flown  past  him  and  twittered :  "  What  do  you 
matter  !•    What  do  you  matter  f'^ 



WAat  does  Knowing  Mean? — Non  ridere^  non 
lugere,  neque  detestari,  sed  intelligere  !  says  Spinoza, 
so  simply  and  sublimely,  as  is  his  wont.  Neverthe- 
less, what  else  is  this  intelligere  ultimately,  but  just 
the  form  in  which  the  three  other  things  become 
perceptible  to  us  all  at  once?  A  result  of  the 
diverging  and  opposite  impulses  of  desiring  to 
deride,  lament  and  execrate?  Before  knowledge 
is  possible  each  of  these  impulses  must  first  have 
brought  forward  its  one-sided  view  of  the  object 
or  event.  The  struggle  of  these  one-sided  views 
occurs  afterwards,  and  out  of  it  there  occasionally 
arises  a  compromise,  a  pacification,  a  recognition 
of  rights  on  all  three  sides,  a  sort  of  justice  and 
agreement :  for  in  virtue  of  the  justice  and  agree- 
ment all  those  impulses  can  maintain  themselves 
in  existence  and  retain  their  mutual  rights.  We,  to 
whose  consciousness  only  the  closing  reconciliation 
scenes  and  final  settling  of  accounts  of  these  long 
processes  manifest  themselves,  think  on  that  account 
that  intelligere  is  something  conciliating,  just  and 
good,  something  essentially  antithetical  to  the 
impulses ;  whereas  it  is  only  a  certain  relation 
of  the  impulses  to  one  another.  For  a  very 
long  time  conscious  thinking  was  regarded  as 
the  only  thinking:  it  is  now  only  that  the  truth 
dawns  upon  us  that  the  greater  part  of  ouf 
intellectual  activity  goes  on  unconsciously  and 
unfelt  by  us ;  I  believe,  however,  that  the  im- 
pulses which  are  here  in  mutual  conflict  under- 
stand rightly  how  to  make  themselves  felt  by  one 


another,    and    how    to    cause    pain :— the   violent 
sudden   exhaustion  which   overtakes   all  thinkers' 
may  have  its  origin  here  (it  is  the  exhaustion  of 
the  battle-field).     Aye,  perhaps  in  our  strugHinji 
interior    there    is    much    concealed    heroism,    hnX 
certanily  nothing  divine,  or  eternally-reposing-in- 
itself,  as  Spinoza  supposed.    Conscious  thinking  and 
especially  that  of  the  philosopher,  is  the  weakest 
and   on   that   account   also  the  relatively  mildest 
and  quietest   mode   of  thinking:    and  thus   it  is 
precisely  the  philosopher  who  is  most  easily  misled 
concerning  the  nature  of  knowledge. 

^    One  must  Learn  to  Love.—TUs  is  our  experience 
in  music :  we  must  first  learn  in  general  to  hear 
to  hear   fully,   and   to   distinguish  a  theme  or  a 
melody,  we  have  to  isolate  and  limit  it  as  a  life  by 
Itself;  then  we  need  to  exercise  effort  and  good-will 
m  order  to  endure  it  in  spite  of  its  strangeness,  we 
need_  patience  towards  its  aspect  and  expression 
and  indulgence  towards  what  is  odd  in  it:— in  the 
end  there  comes  a  moment  when  we  are  accustomed 
to  It,  when  we  expect  it,  when  it  dawns  upon  us 
that  we  should  miss  it  if  it  were  lacking  ;  and  then 
It  goes  on  to  exercise  its  spell   and   charm  more 
and  more,  and  does  not  cease  until  we  have  become 
Its  humble  and  enraptured  lovers,  who  want  it  and 
want  It  again,  and  ask  for  nothing  better  from  the 
world._It   is   thus  with  us,  however,  not  only  in 
music :   It  is  precisely  thus  that  we  have  learned 
to  love  everything  that  we  love.     We  are  always 
finally  recompensed  for  our  good-will,  our  patience 


reasonableness  and  gentleness  towards  what  is 
unfamiliar,  by  the  unfamiliar  slowly  throwing  off 
its  veil  and  presenting  itself  to  us  as  a  new,  ineffable 
beauty  : — that  is  its  thanks  for  our  hospitality.  He 
also  who  loves  himself  must  have  learned  it  in  this 
way  :  there  is  no  other  way.  Love  also  has  to  be 

Cheers  for  Physics  ! — How  many  men  are  there 
who  know  how  to  observe  ?  And  among  the  few 
who  do  know, — how  many  observe  themselves? 
"Everyone  is  furthest  from  himself" — all  the  "triers 
of  the  reins  "  know  that  to  their  discomfort ;  and 
the  saying,  "  Know  thyself,"  in  the  mouth  of  a  God 
and  spoken  to  man,  is  almost  a  mockery.  But 
that  the  case  of  self-observation  is  so  desperate, 
is  attested  best  of  all  by  the  manner  in  which 
almost  everybody  talks  of  the  nature  of  a  moral 
action,  that  prompt,  willing,  convinced,  loquacious 
manner,  with  its  look,  its  smile,  and  its  pleasing 
eagerness!  Everyone  seems  inclined  to  say  to 
you:  "Why,  my  dear  Sir,  that  is  precisely  my  affair ! 
You  address  yourself  with  your  question  to  him 
who  is  authorised  \.o  answer,  for  I  happen  to  be  wiser 
with  regard  to  this  matter  than  in  anything  else. 
Therefore,  when  a  man  decides  that  '  this  is  right,' 
when  he  accordingly  concludes  that  *  it  must  there- 
fore be  done',  and  thereupon  does  what  he  has  thus 
recognised  as  right  and  designated  as  necessary — 
then  the  nature  of  his  action  is  moral!"  But,  my 
friend,  you  are  talking  to  me  about  three  actions 
instead  of  one :  your  deciding,  for  instance,  that 
"this  is  right,"  is  also  an  action, — could   one  not 



judge  either  morally  or  immorally  ?     Why  do  you 
regard  this,  and  just  this,  as  right? — "Because  my 
conscience  tells  me  so  ;    conscience  never  speaks 
immorally,  indeed  it  determines  in  the  first  place 
what  shall  be  moral ! " — But  why  do  you  h'sfen  to 
the  voice  of  your  conscience  ?     And  in  how  far  are 
you  justified  in  regarding  such  a  judgment  as  true 
and   infallible?     This  belief—As,  there   no   further 
conscience  for  it?     Do  you  know  nothing  of  an 
intellectual  conscience  ?     A  conscience  behind  your 
"  conscience  "  ?     Your  decision,  "  this  is  right,"  has 
a  previous  history  in  your  impulses,  your  likes  and 
dislikes,   your   experiences   and    non-experiences ; 
"  how  has  it  originated  ?  "  you  must  ask,  and  after- 
wards the  further  question  :  "  what  really  impels  me 
to  give  ear  to  it  ?  "     You  can  listen  to  its  command 
like  a   brave   soldier  who  hears  the  command  of 
his  officer.     Or  like  a  woman  who  loves  him  who 
commands.     Or  like*  a  flatterer  and  coward,  afraid 
of  the  commander.    Or  like  a  blockhead  who  follows 
because  he  has  nothing  to  say  to  the  contrary.     In 
short,  you  can  give   ear   to   your  conscience  in  a 
hundred  different  ways.     But  that  you  hear  this  or 
that  judgment  as  the  voice  of  conscience,  conse- 
quently, that  you  feel  a  thing  to  be  right— may  have 
its  cause  in  the  fact  that  you  have  never  thought 
about  your  nature,  and  have  blindly  accepted  from 
your  childhood  what  has  been  designated  to  you 
as  right:  or  in  the  fact  that  hitherto  bread  and 
honours  have  fallen  to  your  share  with  that  which 
you  call  your  duty, — it  is  "  right "  to  you,  because 
it  seems  to  be  your  "  condition  of  existence  "  (that 
you,  however,  have  a  right  to  existence  seems  to 


you  irrefutable !).     The  persistency  of  your  moral 
judgment  might  still  be  just  a  proof  of  personal 
wretchedness  or  impersonality;  your  "moral  force" 
might  have  its  source   in   your  obstinacy — or   in 
your  incapacity  to  perceive  new  ideals!     And  to 
be  brief:  if  you  had  thought  more  acutely,  observed 
more  accurately,  and  had  learned  more,  you  would 
no  longer  under  all  circumstances  call  this  and  that 
your  "  duty  "  and  your  "  conscience  "  :    the  know- 
ledge how  moral  judgments  have  in  general  always 
originated  would  make  you  tired  of  these  pathetic 
words, — as  you  have  already  grown  tired  of  other 
pathetic  words,  for  instance  "sin,"  "salvation,"  and 
"  redemption." — And  now,  my  friend,  do  not  talk  to 
me  about  the  categorical  imperative !     That  word 
tickles  my  ear,  and  I  must  laugh  in  spite  of  your 
presence  and  your  seriousness.     In  this  connection 
I  recollect  old  Kant,  who,  as  a  punishment  for  having 
gained  possession  surreptitiously  of  the  "thing  in 
itself" — also  a  very  ludicrous  affair ! — was  imposed 
upon  by  the  categorical  imperative,  and  with  that  in 
his  heart  strayed  back  again  to  "  God,"  the  "  soul," 
"freedom,"  and  "immortality,"  like  a   fox  which 
strays  back  into  its  cage :  and  it  had  been  his  strength 
and  shrewdness  which  had  broken  open  this  cage ! — 
What  ?     You  admire  the  categorical  imperative  in 
you  ?     This  "  persistency  "  of  your  so-called  moral 
judgment?     This  absoluteness  of  the  feeling  that 
"  as  I  think  on  this  matter,  so  must  everyone  think"? 
Admire  rather  your  selfishness  therein !     And  the 
blindness,  paltriness,  and  modesty  of  your  selfish- 
ness !     For  it  is  selfishness  in  a  person  to  regard 
his  judgment  as  universal  law,  and  a  blind,  paltry 


and  modest  selfishness  besides,  because  it  betrays 
that  you  have  not  yet  discovered  yourself,  that  you 
have  not  yet  created  for  yourself  any  personal, 
quite  personal  ideal : — for  this  could  never  be  the 
ideal  of  another,  to  say  nothing  of  all,  of  every 

one! He   who   still   thinks   that  "each  would 

have  to  act  in  this  manner  in  this  case,"  has  not  yet 
advanced  half  a  dozen  paces  in  self-knowledge : 
otherwise  he  would  know  that  there  neither  are,  nor 
can  be,  similar  actions, — that  every  action  that  has 
been  done,  has  been  done  in  an  entirely  unique  and 
inimitable  manner,  and  that  it  will  be  the  same 
with  regard  to  all  future  actions  ;  that  all  precepts 
of  conduct  (and  even  the  most  esoteric  and  subtle 
precepts  of  all  moralities  up  to  the  present),  apply 
only  to  the  coarse  exterior, —that  by  means  of  them, 
indeed,  a  semblance  of  equality  can  be  attained, 
but  only  a  semblance^ — that  in  outlook  and  retrospect, 
every  action  is,  and  remains,  an  impenetrable  affair, 
— that  our  opinions  of  the  "good,"  "noble"  and 
"great"  can  never  be  proved  by  our  actions,  because 
no  action  is  cognisable, — that  our  opinions,  esti- 
mates, and  tables  of  values  are  certainly  among 
the  most  powerful  levers  in  the  mechanism  of  our 
actions,  that  in  every  single  case,  nevertheless,  the 
law  of  their  mechanism  is  untraceable.  Let  us 
confine  ourselves,  therefore,  to  the  purification  of  our 
opinions  and  appreciations,  and  to  the  construction 
of  new  tables  of  value  of  our  own : — we  will,  how- 
ever, brood  no  longer  over  the  "  moral  worth  of  our 
actions"!  Yes,  my  friends  !  As  regards  the  whole 
moral  twaddle  of  people  about  one  another,  it  is 
time  to  be  disgusted  with  it  I     To  sit  in  judgment 


morally  ought  to  be  opposed  to  our  taste!  Let 
us  leave  this  nonsense  and  this  bad  taste  to  those 
who  have  nothing  else  to  do,  save  to  drag  the  past 
a  little  distance  further  through  time,  and  who  are 
never  themselves  the  present,— consequently  to  the 
many,  to  the  majority!  We,  however,  ww/^  seek 
to  become  what  we  are,— the  new,  the  unique,  the  in- 
comparable, making  laws  for  ourselves  and  creating 
ourselves !  And  for  this  purpose  we  must  become 
the  best  students  and  discoverers  of  all  the  laws 
and  necessities  in  the  world.  We  must  be  physicists 
in  order  to  be  creators  in  that  sense,— whereas 
hitherto  all  appreciations  and  ideals  have  been 
based  on  ignorance  of  physics,  or  in  contradiction 
thereto.  And  therefore,  three  cheers  for  physics ! 
And  still  louder  cheers  for  that  which  impels  us 
thereto — our  honesty. 

Avarice  of  Nature.— ^hy  has  nature  been  so 
niggardly  towards  humanity  that  she  has  not  let 
human  beings  shine,  this  man  more  and  that  man 
less,  according  to  their  inner  abundance  of  light  ? 
Why  have  not  great  men  such  a  fine  visibility  in 
their  rising  and  setting  as  the  sun?  How  much 
less  equivocal  would  life  among  men  then  be ! 

Future  "  Hutnanityy—Wh&n  I  look  at  this  age 
with  the  eye  of  a  distant  future,  I  find  nothing 
so  remarkable  in  the  man  of  the  present  day  as  his 
peculiar  virtue  and  sickness  called  "  the  historical 
sense."     It  is  a  tendency  to  something  quite  new 


and  foreign  in  history :  if  this  embryo  were  given 
several   centuries   and    more,   there   might   finally 
evolve  out  of  it  a  marvellous  plant,  with  a  smell 
equally  marvellous,  on  account  of  which  our  old 
earth  might  be  more  pleasant  to  live  in  than  it  has 
been  hitherto.     We   moderns   are  just   beginning 
to  form  the  chain  of  a  very  powerful,  future  senti- 
ment, link  by  link,— we  hardly  know  what  we  are 
doing.     It  almost  seems  to  us  as  if  it  were  not  the 
question  of  a  new  sentiment,  but  of  the  decline  of  all 
old  sentiments  .-—the  historical  sense  is  still  some- 
thing so  poor  and  cold,  and  many  are  attacked  by  it 
as  by  a  frost,  and  are  made  poorer  and  colder  by  it. 
To  others  it  appears  as  the  indication  of  stealthily 
approaching  age,  and  our  planet  is  regarded  by 
them  as  a  melancholy  invalid,  who,  in   order  to 
forget  his  present  condition,  writes  the  history  of 
his  youth.     In  fact,  this  is  one  aspect  of  the  new 
sentiment.     He   who    knows   how    to   regard   the 
history  of  man  in  its  entirety  as  his  own  history, 
feels  in  the  immense  generalisation   all  the  grief 
of  the  invalid  who  thinks   of  health,  of  the   old 
man  who  thinks  of  the  dream  of  his  youth,  of  the 
lover  who  is  robbed  of  his  beloved,  of  the  martyr 
whose    ideal    is    destroyed,   of   the  hero    on    the 
evening     of    the     indecisive     battle     which     has 
brought   him   wounds   and   the   loss   of  a   friend. 
But   to   bear    this   immense   sum   of  grief  of  all 
kinds,   to   be   able   to   bear    it,   and   yet    still   be 
the  hero  who  at  the  commencement  of  a  second 
day  of  battle  greets  the  dawn  and  his  happiness, 
as   one  who  has   an  horizon    of  centuries   before 
and  behind  him,  as  the  heir  of  all  nobility,  of  all 


past  intellect,  and  the  obligatory  heir  (as  the 
noblest)  of  all  the  old  nobles ;  while  at  the  same 
time  the  first  of  a  new  nobility,  the  equal  of  which 
has  never  been  seen  nor  even  dreamt  of:  to 
take  all  this  upon  his  soul,  the  oldest,  the  newest, 
the  losses,  hopes,  conquests,  and  victories  of  man- 
kind :  to  have  all  this  at  last  in  one  soul,  and  to 
comprise  it  in  one  feeling : — this  would  necessarily 
furnish  a  happiness  which  man  has  not  hitherto 
known, — a  God's  happiness,  full  of  power  and  love, 
full  of  tears  and  laughter,  a  happiness  which,  like 
the  sun  in  the  evening,  continually  gives  of  its 
inexhaustible  riches  and  empties  into  the  sea, — 
and  like  the  sun,  too,  feels  itself  richest  when  even 
the  poorest  fisherman  rows  with  golden  oars  !  This 
divine  feeling  might  then  be  called— humanity ! 


The  Will  to  Suffering  and  the  Compassionate. — Is 
it  to  your  advantage  to  be  above  all  compassionate  ? 
And  is  it  to  the  advantage  of  the  sufferers  when 
you  are  so  ?  But  let  us  leave  the  first  question  for 
a  moment  without  an  answer. — That  from  which 
we  suffer  most  profoundly  and  personally  is  almost 
incomprehensible  and  inaccessible  to  every  one  else : 
in  this  matter  we  are  hidden  from  our  neighbour 
even  when  he  eats  at  the  same  table  with  us. 
Everywhere,  however,  where  we  are  noticed  as 
sufferers,  our  suffering  is  interpreted  in  a  shallow 
way ;  it  belongs  to  the  nature  of  the  emotion  of 
pity  to  divest  unfamiliar  suffering  of  its  properly 
personal  character  : — our  "  benefactors  "  lower  our 
value  and   volition    more   than   our   enemies.     In 


most  benefits  which  are  conferred  on  the  unfor- 
tunate there  is  something  shocking  in  the  intellec- 
tual levity  with  which  the  compassionate  person 
plays  the  role  of  fate :  he  knows  nothing  of  all  the 
inner  consequences  and  complications  which  are 
called  misfortune  for  me  or  for  you  !  The  entire 
economy  of  my  soul  and  its  adjustment  by  "  mis- 
fortune," the  uprising  of  new  sources  and  needs,  the 
closing  up  of  old  wounds,  the  repudiation  of  whole 
periods  of  the  past — none  of  these  things  which 
may  be  connected  with  misfortune  preoccupy  the 
dear  sympathiser.  He  wishes  to  succour^  and  does 
not  reflect  that  there  is  a  personal  necessity  for  mis- 
fortune; that  terror,  want,  impoverishment,  midnight 
watches,  adventures,  hazards  and  mistakes  are  as 
necessary  to  me  and  to  you  as  their  opposites,  yea, 
that,  to  speak  mystically,  the  path  to  one's  own 
heaven  always  leads  through  the  voluptuousness  of 
one's  own  hell.  No,  he  knows  nothing  thereof.  The 
"  religion  of  compassion  "  (or  "  the  heart ")  bids  him 
help,  and  he  thinks  he  has  helped  best  when  he  has 
helped  most  speedily!  If  you  adherents  of  this 
religion  actually  have  the  same  sentiments  towards 
yourselves  which  you  have  towards  your  fellows, 
if  you  are  unwilling  to  endure  your  own  suffering 
even  for  an  hour,  and  continually  forestall  all 
possible  misfortune,  if  you  regard  suffering  and 
pain  generally  as  evil,  as  detestable,  as  deserving 
of  annihilation,  and  as  blots  on  existence,  well,  you 
have  then,  besides  your  religion  of  compassion,  yet 
another  religion  in  your  heart  (and  this  is  perhaps 
the  mother  of  the  former) — the  religion  of  smug  ease. 
Ah,    how    little    you    know    of  the    happiness   of 


man,  you  comfortable  and  good-natured  ones ! — for 
happiness  and  misfortune  are  brother  and  sister, 
and  twins,  who  grow  tall  together,  or,  as  with 
you,  remain  small  together !  But  now  let  us 
return  to  the  first  question. — How  is  it  at  all 
possible  for  a  person  to  keep  to  his  path !  Some 
cry  or  other  is  continually  calling  one  aside :  our 
eye  then  rarely  lights  on  anything  without  it 
becoming  necessary  for  us  to  leave  for  a  moment 
our  own  affairs  and  rush  to  give  assistance.  I 
know  there  are  hundreds  of  respectable  and  laud-  ^ 
able  methods  of  making  me  stray  from  my  course^ 
and  in  truth  the  most  "  moral "  of  methods ! 
Indeed,  the  opinion  of  the  present-day  preachers 
of  the  morality  of  compassion  goes  so  far  as  to 
imply  that  just  this,  and  this  alone  is  moral: — to 
stray  from  our  course  to  that  extent  and  to  run 
to  the  assistance  of  our  neighbour.  I  am  equally 
certain  that  I  need  only  give  myself  over  to  the 
sight  of  one  case  of  actual  distress,  and  I,  too, 
am  lost!  And  if  a  suffering  friend  said  to  me, 
"  See,  I  shall  soon  die,  only  promise  to  die  with 
me" — I  might  promise  it,  just  as — to  select  for 
once  bad  examples  for  good  reasons — the  sight  of 
a  small,  mountain  people  struggling  for  freedom, 
would  bring  me  to  the  point  of  offering  them  my 
hand  and  my  life.  Indeed,  there  is  even  a  secret 
seduction  in  all  this  awakening  of  compassion,  and 
calling  for  help :  our  "  own  way "  is  a  thing  too^ 
hard  and  insistent,  and  too  far  removed  from  the 
love  and  gratitude  of  others, — we  escape  from  it 
and  from  our  most  personal  conscience,  not  at  all 
unwillingly,  and,  seeking  security  in  the  conscience 

26^  THE  Joyful  WISDOM,  iv 

of  others,  we  take  refuge  in  the  lovely  temple  of 
the  "  religion  of  pity."  As  soon  now  as  any  war 
breaks  out,  there  always  breaks  out  at  the  same 
time  a  certain  secret  delight  precisely  in  the 
noblest  class  of  the  people :  they  rush  with  rapture 
to  meet  the  new  danger  of  deaths  because  they 
believe  that  in  the  sacrifice  for  their  country  they 
have  finally  that  long-sought-for  permission — the 
permission  to  shirk  their  aim : — war  is  for  them  a 
detour  to  suicide,  a  detour,  however,  with  a  good 
conscience.  And  although  silent  here  about  some 
things,  I  will  not,  however,  be  silent  about  my 
morality,  which  says  to  me :  Live  in  conceal- 
ment in  order  that  thou  mayest  live  to  thyself 
Live  ignorant  of  that  which  seems  to  thy  age 
to  be  most  important!  Put  at  least  the  skin  of 
three  centuries  betwixt  thyself, and  the  present 
day!  And  the  clamour  of  the  present  day,  the 
noise  of  wars  and  revolutions,  ought  to  be  a 
murmur  to  thee!  Thou  wilt  also  want  to  help, 
but  only  those  whose  distress  thou  entirely  under - 
standest,  because  they  have  one  sorrow  and  one 
hope  in  common  with  thee — ^y  friends  :  and  only 
in  the  way  that  thou  helpest  thyself: — I  want  to 
make  them  more  courageous,  more  enduring,  more 
simple,  more  joyful !  I  want  to  teach  them  that 
which  at  present  so  few  understand,  and  the 
preachers  of  fellowship  in  sorrow  least  of  all : — 
m.vciQ\y,  fellowship  in  Joy  I 

Vita  femina. — To  see  the  ultimate  beauties  in  a 
work — all  knowledge  and  good-will  is  not  enough  ; 


It  requires  the  rarest,  good  chance  for  the  veil  of 
clouds  to  move  for  once  from  the  summits,  and  for 
the  sun   to   shine  on  them.     We   must   not   only 
stand  at  precisely  the  right  place  to  see  this,  our 
very  soul  itself  must  have  pulled  away  the  veil 
from  its  heights,  and  must  be  in  need  of  an  external 
expression  and  simile,  so  as  to  have  a  hold  and 
remain  master  of  itself     All  these,  however,  are 
so   rarely   united   at    the   same    time   that    I    am 
inclined  to  believe  that  the  highest  summit  of  all 
that  is  good,  be  it  work,  deed,  man,  or  nature,  has 
hitherto  remained  for  most  people,  and   even  for 
the  best,  as  something  concealed  and  shrouded  : — 
that,  however,  which   unveils  itself  to   us,  unveils 
itself  to  us  but  once.     The  Greeks  indeed  prayed  : 
"Twice  and   thrice,   everything  beautiful!"     Ah, 
they  had  their  good  reason  to  call  on  the  Gods, 
for  ungodly   actuality   does   not   furnish   us   with 
the  beautiful  at  all,  or  only  does  so  once !     I  mean 
to  say  that  the  world  is  overfull  of  beautiful  things, 
but  it  is  nevertheless  poor,  very  poor,  in  beautiful 
moments,  and  in  the  unveiling  of  those  beautiful 
things.     But  perhaps  this  is  the  greatest  charm  of 
life:   it   puts    a    gold-embroidered   veil    of  lovely 
potentialities     over     itself,     promising,     resisting, 
modest,    mocking,    sympathetic,    seductive.     Yes, 
life  is  a  woman  ! 


The  Dying  Socrates. — I  admire  the  courage  and 

wisdom  of  Socrates  in  all  that  he  did,  said— and 

did  not  say.    This  mocking  and  amorous  demon 

and   rat-catcher   of  Athens,  who  made   the  most 

*  insolent  youths  tremble  and  sob,  was  not  only  the 


wisest  babbler  that  has  ever  lived,  but  was  just  as 
great  in  his  silence.  I  would  that  he  had  also 
been  silent  in  the  last  moment  of  his  life, — perhaps 
he  might  then  have  belonged  to  a  still  higher 
order  of  intellects.  Whether  it  was  death,  or  the 
poison,  or  piety,  or  wickedness — something  or 
other  loosened  his  tongue  at  that  moment,  and  he 
said :  "  O  Crito,  I  owe  a  cock  to  Asclepios."  For 
him  who  has  ears,  this  ludicrous  and  terrible  "  last 
word  "  implies  :  "  O  Crito,  life  is  a  long  sickness  !  " 
Is  it  possible !  A  man  like  him,  who  had  lived 
cheerfully  and  to  all  appearance  as  a  soldier, — 
was  a  pessimist !  He  had  merely  put  on  a  good 
demeanour  towards  life,  and  had  all  along  concealed 
his  ultimate  judgment,  his  profoundest  sentiment ! 
Socrates,  Socrates  had  suffered  from  life !  And 
he  also  took  his  revenge  for  it — with  that  veiled, 
fearful,  pious,  and  blasphemous  phrase !  Had  even 
a  Socrates  to  revenge  himself?  Was  there  a  grain 
too  little  of  magnanimity  in  his  superabundant 
virtue  ?  Ah,  my  friends !  We  must  surpass  even 
the  Greeks ! 
M/  341- 

"^  -  The  Heaviest  Burden. — What  if  a  demon'  crept 

after  thee  into  thy  loneliest  loneliness  some  day 
or  night,  and  said  to  thee:  "This  life,  as  thou 
livest  it  at  present,  and  hast  lived  it,  thou  must 
live  it  once  more,  and  also  innumerable  times ; 
and  there  will  be  nothing  new  in  it,  but  every 
pain  and  every  joy  and  every  thought  and  every 
sigh,  and  all  the  unspeakably  small  and  great 
in  thy  life  must  come  to  thee  again,  and  all 
in  the  same   series  and   sequence — and   similarly 


this  spider  and  this  moonlight  among  the  trees, 
and   similarly  this   moment,  and    I   myself.     The 
eternal  sand-glass  of  existence  will  ever  be  turned 
once  more,  and  thou  with  it,  thou  speck  of  dust ! " 
— Wouldst  thou  not  throw  thyself  down  and  gnash 
thy  teeth,  and   curse  the   demon  that   so   spake? 
Or   hast    thou    once    experienced    a    tremendous 
moment  in  which  thou  wouldst  answer  him  :  "  Thou 
art   a   God,   and   never   did    I    hear   anything   so 
divine!"      If  that   thought   acquired    power   over 
thee   as   thou   art,   it  would   transform   thee,  and 
perhaps  crush  thee  ;  the  question  with  regard  to  all 
and  everything :    "  Dost  thou  want  this  once  more, 
and  also  for  innumerable  times  ?  "  would  lie  as  the 
heaviest  burden  upon  thy  activity !    Or,  how  wouldst 
thou  have  to  become  favourably  inclined  to  thyself 
and  to  life,  so  as  to  long  for  nothing  more  ardently 
than  for  this  last  eternal  sanctioning  and  sealing  ? — 

Incipit  Tragcedia. — When  Zarathustra  was  thirty 
years  old,  he  left  his  home  and  the  Lake  of  Urmi, 
and  went  into  the  mountains.  There  he  enjoyed 
his  spirit  and  his  solitude,  and  for  ten  years  did 
not  weary  of  it.  But  at  last  his  heart  changed, — 
and  rising  one  morning  with  the  rosy  dawn,  he 
went  before  the  sun  and  spake  thus  to  it :  "  Thou 
great  star !  What  would  be  thy  happiness  if  thou 
hadst  not  those  for  whom  thou  shinest !  For  ten 
years  hast  thou  climbed  hither  unto  my  cave :  thou 
wouldst  have  wearied  of  thy  light  and  of  the 
journey,  had  it  not  been  for  me,  mine  eagle,  and  my 
serpent.     But  we  awaited  thee  every  morning,  took 


from  thee  thine  overflow,  and  blessed  thee  for  it. 
Lo  !  I  am  weary  of  my  wisdom,  like  the  bee  that 
hath  gathered  too  much  honey  ;  I  need  hands  out- 
stretched  to   take   it.      I   would  fain  bestow  and 
distribute,  until  the  wise  have  once  more  become 
joyous  in  their  folly,  and  the  poor  happy  in  their 
riches.     Therefore  must  I  descend  into  the  deep, 
as   thou   doest   in  the  evening,  when  thou  goest 
behind  the  sea  and  givest  light  also  to  the  nether- 
world, thou  most  rich  star !     Like  thee  must  I  go 
down,  as  men  say,  to  whom  I  shall  descend.     Bless 
me  then,  thou  tranquil  eye,  that  canst  behold  even 
the  greatest  happiness  without  envy!      Bless  the 
cup  that  is  about  to  overflow,  that  the  water  may 
flow  golden  out  of  it,  and  carry  everywhere  the 
reflection  of  thy  bliss !      Lo !     This  cup  is  again 
going  to  empty  itself,  and   Zarathustra   is  again 
going  to  be  a  man."— Thus  began  Zarathustra's 



"  Carcasse,  tu  trembles  ?  Tu 
tremblerais  bien  davantage,  si 
tu  savais,  oii  je  te  mene."— 

i8  m 

W/iai(  our  Cheerfulness  Signifies.  —  The  mosr^ 
important  of  more  recent  events — that  "God  is 
dead,"  that  the  belief  in  the  Christian  God  has 
become  unworthy  of  belief — already  begins  to  cast 
its  first  shadows  over  Europe.  To  the  kw  at  least 
whose  eye,  whose  suspecting  g\^.nce^  is  strong  enough 
and  subtle  enough  for  this  drama,  some  sun 
seems  to  have  set,  some  old,  profound  confidence 
seems  to  have  changed  into  doubt :  our  old  world 
must  seem  to  them  daily  more  darksome,  distrustful, 
strange  and  "  old."  In  the  main,  however,  one  may 
say  that  the  event  itself  is  far  too  great,  too  remote, 
too  much  beyond  most  people's  power  of  apprehen- 
sion, for  one  to  suppose  that  so  much  as  the  report 
of  it  could  have  reached  them  ;  not  to  speak  of 
many  who  already  knew  what  had  taken  place,  and 
what  must  all  collapse  now  that  this  belief  had  been 
undermined, — because  so  much  was  built  upon  it,** 
so  much  rested  on  it,  and  had  become  one  with  it : 
for  example,  our  entire  European  morality.  This 
lengthy,  vast  and  uninterrupted  process  of  crum- 
bling, destruction,  ruin  and  overthrow  which  is  now 
imminent :  who  has  realised  it  sufficiently  to-day  to 
have  to  stand  up  as  the  teacher  and  herald  of  such 
a  tremendous  logic  of  terror,  as  the  prophet  of  a 
period  of  gloom  and  eclipse,  the  like  of  which  has 


probably  never  taken  place  on  earth  before  ?  ,  .  . 
Even  we,  the  born  riddle-readers,  who  wait  as  it 
were  on  the  mountains  posted  'twixt  to-day  and 
to-morrow,  and  engirt  by  their  contradiction,  we, 
the  firstlings  and  premature  children  of  the  coming 
century,  into  whose  sight  especially  the  shadows 
which  must  forthwith  envelop  Europe  should 
already  have  come — how  is  it  that  even  we,  with- 
out genuine  sympathy  for  this  period  of  gloom, 
contemplate  its  advent  without  any  personal 
solicitude  or  fear?  Are  we  still,  perhaps,  too 
much  under  the  immediate  effects  of  the  event — 
and  are  these  effects,  especially  as  regards  our- 
selves, perhaps  the  reverse  of  what  was  to  be 
expected — not  at  all  sad  and  depressing,  but 
rather  like  a  new  and  indescribable  variety  of 
light,  happiness,  relief,  enlivenment,  encourage- 
ment, and  dawning  day?  ...  In  fact,  we  philo- 
sophers and  "  free  spirits  "  feel  ourselves  irradiated 
as  by  a  new  dawn  by  the  report  that  the  "old 
God  is  dead  "  ;  our  hearts  overflow  with  gratitude, 
astonishment,  presentiment  and  expectation.  At 
last  the  horizon  seems  open  once  more,  granting 
even  that  it  is  not  bright ;  our  ships  can  at  last 
put  out  to  sea  in  face  of  every  danger ;  every 
hazard  is  again  permitted  to  the  discerner ;  the 
sea,  our  sea,  again  lies  open  before  us ;  perhaps 
never  before  did  such  an  "  open  sea  "  exist. — 

To  what  Extent  even   We  are  still  Pious. — It  is 
said  with  good  reason  that  convictions  have  no  civic 
rights  in  the  domain  of  science :  it  is  only  when  a 


conviction  voluntarily  condescends  to  the  modesty  of 
an  hypothesis,  a  preliminary  standpoint  for  experi- 
ment, or  a  regulative  fiction,  that  its  access  to  the 
realm  of  knowledge,  and  a  certain  value  therein, 
can  be  conceded, — always,  however,  with  the  re- 
striction that  it  must  remain  under  police  super- 
vision, under  the  police  of  our  distrust. — Regarded 
more  accurately,  however,  does  not  this  imply  that 
only  when  a  conviction  ceases  to  be  a  conviction 
can  it  obtain  admission  into  science?  Does  not 
the  discipline  of  the  scientific  spirit  just  commence 
when  one  no  longer  harbours  any  conviction  ?  .  .  . 
It  is  probably  so :  only,  it  remains  to  be  asked 
whether,  in  order  that  this  discipline  may  commence^ 
it  is  not  necessary  that  there  should  already  be  a 
conviction,  and  in  fact  one  so  imperative  and 
absolute,  that  it  makes  a  sacrifice  of  all  other 
convictions.  One  sees  that  science  also  rests 
on  a  belief :  there  is  no  science  at  all  "  without 
premises."  The  question  whether  truth  is  neces- 
sary, must  not  merely  be  affirmed  beforehand, 
but  must  be  affirmed  to  such  an  extent  that 
the  principle,  belief,  or  conviction  finds  expres- 
sion, that  "  there  is  nothing  more  necessary  than 
truth,  and  in  comparison  with  it  everything  else 
has  only  secondary  value." — This  absolute  will 
to  truth:  what  is  it?  Is  it  the  will  not  to  allow 
ourselves  to  be  deceived?  Is  it  the  will  not  io  de- 
ceive ?  For  the  will  to  truth  could  also  be  inter- 
preted in  this  fashion,  provided  one  included  under 
the  generalisation,  "  I  will  not  deceive "  the 
special  case,  "  I  will  not  deceive  myself"  But 
why  not  deceive?    Why  not  allow  oneself  to  be 


deceived  ? — Let  it  be  noted  that  the  reasons  for  the 
former  eventuality  belong  to  a  category  quite  differ- 
ent from  those  for  the  latter :  one  does  not  want  to 
be  deceived  oneself,  under  the  supposition  that  it 
is  injurious,  dangerous,  or  fatal  to  be  deceived, 
— in  this  sense  science  would  be  a  prolonged 
process  of  caution,  foresight  and  utility;  against 
which,  however,  one  might  reasonably  make  objec- 
tions. What  ?  is  not-wishing-to-be-deceived  really 
less  injurious,  less  dangerous,  less  fatal  ?  What  do 
you  know  of  the  character  of  existence  in  all  its 
phases  to  be  able  to  decide  whether  the  greater 
advantage  is  on  the  side  of  absolute  distrust,  or 
of  absolute  trustfulness  ?  In  case,  however,  of  both 
being  necessary,  much  trusting  and  much  distrust- 
ing, whence  then  should  science  derive  the  abso- 
lute belief,  the  conviction  on  which  it  rests,  that 
truth  is  more  important  than  anything  else,  even 
than  every  other  conviction?  This  conviction 
could  not  have  arisen  if  truth  and  untruth  had 
both  continually  proved  themselves  to  be  use- 
ful :  as  is  the  case.  Thus — the  belief  in  science, 
which  now  undeniably  exists,  cannot  have  had 
its  origin  in  such  a  utilitarian  calculation,  but 
rather  in  spite  of  the  fact  of  the  inutility  and 
dangerousness  of  the  "  Will  to  truth,"  of  "  truth  at 
all  costs,"  being  continually  demonstrated.  "  At 
all  costs " :  alas,  we  understand  that  sufficiently 
well,  after  having  sacrificed  and  slaughtered  one 
belief  after  another  at  this  altar ! — Consequently, 
"  Will  to  truth  "  does  not  imply,  "  I  will  not  allow 
i  myself  to  be  deceived,"  but — there  is  no  other 
lalternative — "  I  will  not  deceive,  not  even  myself" : 


and  thus  we  have  reached  the  realm  of  morality. 
For   let  one  just  ask  oneself  fairly:     "Why  wilt 
thou  not  deceive?"  especially  if  it  should  seem— 
and  it  does  seem— as  if  life  were  laid  out  with  a 
view  to  appearance,  I  mean,  with  a  view  to  error, 
deceit,  dissimulation,  delusion,  self-delusion ;   and 
when  on  the  other  hand  it  is  a  matter  of  fact  that 
the  great  type  of  life  has  always  manifested  itself 
on  the  side  of  the  most  unscrupulous  TroXi^rpoTroi. 
Such    an    intention    might    perhaps,    to    express 
it    mildly,    be    a    piece    of    Quixotism,    a    little 
enthusiastic  craziness ;  it  might  also,  however,  be 
something  worse,  namely,  a  destructive  principle, 

hostile  to  life "Will  to  Truth,"^that  might 

be  a  concealed  Will  to  Death.-Thus  the  question 
Why  is  there  science?   leads  back  to  the   moral 
problem  :   What  in  general  is  the  purpose  of  morality, 
if    life,    nature,    and    history    are    « non-moral '^  ? 
There  is  no  doubt  that  the  conscientious  man  in 
the    daring    and    extreme    sense     in    which    he 
is   presupposed   by   the   belief  in   science,  affirms 
thereby  a  world  other  than    that   of  life,   nature, 
and  history  ;  and  in  so  far  as  he  affirms  this  "  other 
world,"   what?   must  he   not  just   thereby— deny 
its   counterpart,  this   world,  our  world?  ...  But 
what  I  have  in  view  will  now  be  understood,  namely, 
that  it  is  always  a  metaphysical  belief  on  which  our 
belief  in  science  rests,— and  that  even  we  knowing 
ones  of  to-day,  tV>lf2JJ^'^-^  ^^^  anti-metaphysical, 
still  take  our  fire  from  the  conflagration  kindled 
by  a  belief  a  millennium  old,  the  Christian  belief, 
which   was   also    the    belief  of  Plato,   that    God 
is  truth,  that  the  truth  is  divine.  ...  But  what  if 


this  itself  always  becomes  more  untrustworthy, 
what  if  nothing  any  longer  proves  itself  divine, 
except  it  be  error,  blindness,  and  falsehood  ;— what 
if  God  himself  turns  out  to  be  our  most  persistent 

Morality  as  a  Problem.— K  defect  in  personality 
revenges    itself  everywhere:    an   enfeebled,   lank, 
obliterated,  self-disavowing  and  disowning  person- 
ality is    no    longer  fit    for  anything    good— it    is 
least   of  all   fit    for   philosophy.       "Selflessness" 
has  no  value  either  in  heaven  or  on  earth  ;  the  great 
\i  problems  all  demand  great  love,  and  it  is  only  the 
strong,  well-rounded,  secure  spirits,  those  who  have 
a  solid  basis,  that  are  qualified  for  them.     It  makes 
the  most  material  difference  whether  a  thinker  stands 
personally  related  to  his  problems,  having  his  fate, 
his  need,  and  even  his  highest  happiness  therein  ; 
or  merely  impersonally,  that  is  to  say,  if  he  can 
only  feel  and  grasp  them  with  the  tentacles  of  cold, 
prying  thought.     In  the  latter  case  I  warrant  that 
nothing  comes  of  it :  for  the  great  problems,  grant- 
ing that  they  let  themselves  be  grasped  at  all,  do 
not  let  themselves  be  held  by  toads  and  weaklings : 
that  has  ever  been  their  taste— a  taste  also  which 
they  share  with  all  high-spirited  women.— How  is 
it  that  I  have  not  yet  met  with  any  one,  not  even  in 
books,  who  seems  to  have  stood  to  morality  in  this 
position,  as  one  who  knew  morality  as  a  problem, 
and  this  problem  as  his  own  personal  need,  afflic- 
tion, pleasure   and  passion?      It   is   obvious   that 
up  to  the  present  morality  has  not  been  a  problem 
at  all;    it   has  rather   been   the   very   ground   on 


which  people  have  met  after  all  distrust,  dissen- 
sion and  contradiction,  the  hallowed  place  of 
peace,  where  thinkers  could  obtain  rest. even  from 
themselves,  could  recover  breath  and  revive.  I 
see  no  one  who  has  ventured  to  criticise  the 
estimates  of  moral  worth.  I  miss  in  this  con- 
nection even  the  attempts  of  scientific  curiosity, 
and  the  fastidious,  groping  imagination  of  psycho- 
logists and  historians,  which  easily  anticipates  a 
problem  and  catches  it  on  the  wing,  without  rightly 
knowing  what  it  catches.  With  difficulty  I  have 
discovered  some  scanty  data  for  the  purpose  of 
furnishing  a  history  of  the  origin  of  these  feelings 
and  estimates  of  value  (which  is  something  different 
from  a  criticism  of  them,  and  also  something  differ- 
ent from  a  history  of  ethical  systems).  In  an 
individual  case  I  have  done  everything  to  encourage 
the  inclination  and  talent  for  this  kind  of  history — 
in  vain,  as  it  would  seem  to  me  at  present.  There 
is  little  to  be  learned  from  those  historians  of 
morality  (especially  Englishmen)  :  they  themselves 
are  usually,  quite  unsuspiciously,  under  the  in- 
fluence of  a  definite  morality,  and  act  unwittingly 
as  its  armour-bearers  and  followers — perhaps  still 
repeating  sincerely  the  popular  superstition  of 
Christian  Europe,  that  the  characteristic  of  moral 
action  consists  in  abnegation,  self-denial,  self- 
sacrifice,  or  in  fellow-feeling  and  fellow-suffering. 
The  usual  error  in  their  premises  is  their  insist- 
ence on  a  certain  consensus  among  human  beings, 
at  least  among  civilised  human  beings,  with 
regard  to  certain  propositions  of  morality,  from 
thence  they  conclude  that  these  propositions  are 


absolutely  binding  even  upon  you  and  me ;  or 
reversely,  they  come  to  the  conclusion  that  no 
morality  is  binding,  after  the  truth  has  dawned 
upon  them  that  among  different  peoples  moral 
valuations  are  necessarily  different :  both  of  which 
conclusions  are  equally  childish  follies.  The  error 
of  the  more  subtle  amongst  them  is  that  they 
discover  and  criticise  the  probably  foolish  opinions 
of  a  people  about  its  own  morality,  or  the  opinions 
of  mankind  about  human  morality  generally  (they 
treat  accordingly  of  its  origin,  its  religious  sanctions, 
the  superstition  of  free  will,  and  such  matters),  and 
they  think  that  just  by  so  doing  they  have  criticised 
the  morality  itself.  But  the  worth  of  a  precept, 
"  Thou  shalt,"  is  fundamentally  different  from 
and  independent  of  such  opinions  about  it,  and 
must  be  distinguished  from  the  weeds  of  error 
with  which  it  has  perhaps  been  overgrown :  just 
as  the  worth  of  a  medicine  to  a  sick  person  is 
altogether  independent  of  the  question  whether 
he  has  a  scientific  opinion  about  medicine,  or 
merely  thinks  about  it  as  an  old  wife  would  do. 
A  morality  could  even  have  grown  oui  of  an 
error :  but  with  this  knowledge  the  problem  of  its 
worth  would  not  even  be  touched. — Thus,  no  one 
hitherto  has  tested  the  value  of  that  most  cele- 
brated of  all  medicines,  called  morality  :  for  which 
purpose  it  is  first  of  all  necessary  for  one — to  call  it 
in  question.     Well,  that  is  just  our  work. — 

Our  Note  of  Interrogation. — But  you  don't  under- 
stand it?     As  a  matter  of  fact,  an  effort  will  be 


necessary  in  order  to  understand  us.  We  seek 
for  words  ;  we  seek  perhaps  also  for  ears.  Who 
are  we  after  all  ?  If  we  wanted  simply  to  call  our- 
selves in  older  phraseology,  atheists,  unbelievers, 
or  even  immoralists,  we  should  still  be  far  from 
thinking  ourselves  designated  thereby  :  we  are  all 
three  in  too  late  a  phase  for  people  generally  to 
conceive,  for  fou,  my  inquisitive  friends,  to  be  able 
to  conceive,  what  is  our  state  of  mind  under  the 
circumstances.  No !  we  have  no  longer  the  bitter- 
ness and  passion  of  him  who  has  broken  loose, 
who  has  to  make  for  himself  a  belief,  a  goal, 
and  even  a  martyrdom  out  of  his  unbelief!  We 
have  become  saturated  with  the  conviction  (and 
have  grown  cold  and  hard  in  it)  that  things 
are  not  at  all  divinely  ordered  in  this  world,  nor 
even  according  to  human  standards  do  they  go  on 
rationally,  mercifully,  or  justly :  we  know  the  fact 
that  the  world  in  which  we  live  is  ungodly,  immoral, 
and  "  inhuman," — we  have  far  too  long  interpreted 
it  to  ourselves  falsely  and  mendaciously,  according 
to  the  wish  and  will  of  our  veneration,  that  is  to  say, 
according  to  our  need.  For  man  is  a  venerating 
animal !  But  he  is  also  a  distrustful  animal :  and 
that  the  world  is  noi  worth  what  we  believed 
it  to  be  worth  is  about  the  surest  thing  our  dis- 
trust has  at  last  managed  to  grasp.  So  much 
distrust,  so  much  philosophy!  We  take  good 
care  not  to  say  that  the  world  is  of  /ess  value : 
it  seems  to  us  at  present  absolutely  ridiculous 
when  man  claims  to  devise  values  to  surpass 
the  values  of  the  actual  world, — it  is  precisely 
from  that  point  that  we  have  retraced  our  steps ; 


as  from  an  extravagant  error  of  human  conceit  and 
irrationality,  which  for  a  long  period  has  not  been 
recognised  as  such.  This  error  had  its  last  ex- 
pression in  modern  Pessimism  ;  an  older  and 
stronger  manifestation  in  the  teaching  of  Buddha  ; 
but  Christianity  also  contains  it,  more  dubiously, 
to  be  sure,  and  more  ambiguously,  but  none  the 
less  seductive  on  that  account.  The  whole  attitude 
of  "man  versus  the  world,"  man  as  world -denying 
principle,  man  as  the  standard  of  the  value  of 
things,  as  judge  of  the  world,  who  in  the  end 
puts  existence  itself  on  his  scales  and  finds  it  too 
light — the  monstrous  impertinence  of  this  attitude 
has  dawned  upon  us  as  such,  and  has  disgusted 
us, — we  now  laugh  when  we  find,  "Man  and 
World"  placed  beside  one  another,  separated  by 
the  sublime  presumption  of  the  little  word  "  and  " ! 
But  how  is  it  ?  Have  we  not  in  our  very  laugh- 
ing just  made  a  further  step  in  despising  mankind  ? 
And  consequently  also  in  Pessimism,  in  despising 
the  existence  cognisable  by  us?  Have  we  not 
just  thereby  awakened  suspicion  that  there  is  an 
opposition  between  the  world  in  which  we  have 
hitherto  been  at  home  with  our  venerations — for 
the  sake  of  which  we  perhaps  endure  life — and 
another  world  which  we  ourselves  are:  an  inexor- 
able, radical,  most  profound  suspicion  concerning 
ourselves,  which  is  continually  getting  us  Euro- 
peans more  annoyingly  into  its  power,  and  could 
easily  face  the  coming  generation  with  the  ter- 
rible alternative :  Either  do  away  with  your 
venerations,  or  —  with  yourselves  !"  The  latter 
would   be   Nihilism — but   would    not   the   former 


also  be  Nihilism?     This  is  our  note  of  interro- 

Believers  and  their  Need  of  Belief. —Rovf  much 
faith  a  person  requires  in  order  to  flourish,  how 
much  "  fixed  opinion  "  he  requires  which  he  does 
not  wish  to  have  shaken,  because  he  holds  himself 
thereby— is  a  measure  of  his  power  (or  more  plainly 
speaking,  of  his  weakness).      Most  people  in  old 
Europe,  as  it  seems  to  me,  still  need  Christianity 
at  present,  and  on  that  account  it  still  finds  belief 
For  such  is  man  :  a  theological  dogma  might  be 
refuted  to  him  a  thousand  times,— provided,  how- 
ever, that  he  had  need  of  it,  he  would  again  and 
again  accept  it  as  "  true,"— according  to  the  famous 
"proof  of  power"    of  which    the    Bible    speaks. 
Some  have   still   need   of  metaphysics ;   but  also 
the  impatient  longing  for  certainty  which  at  present 
discharges    itself   in    scientific,    positivist    fashion 
among  large  numbers  of  the  people,  the  longing 
by  all  means  to  get   at   something  stable  (while 
on   account   of  the   warmth   of   the    longing  the 
establishing  of  the  certainty  is  more  leisurely  and 
negligently   undertaken) :— even    this   is    still   the 
longing  for  a  hold,  a  support ;  in  short,  the  instinct 
oj  weakness,   which,   while   not   actually   creating 
religions,  metaphysics,  and  convictions  of  all  kinds, 
nevertheless— preserves  them.     In  fact,  around  all 
these  positivist  systems  there  fume  the  vapours  of 
a  certain  pessimistic  gloom,  something  of  weari- 
ness, fatalism,  disillusionment,  and    fear    of  new 
disillusionment— or  else   manifest    animosity,   ill- 
humour,  anarchic  exasperation,  and  whatever  there 


is  of  symptom  or  masquerade   of  the  feeling  of 
weakness.      Even   the   readiness  with   which   our 
cleverest    contemporaries     get    lost    in    wretched 
corners  and  alleys,  for  example,  in  Vaterlanderei 
(so    I    designate   Jingoism,  called   chauvinisme   in 
France,  and  " deutsck"  in  Germany),  or  in  petty 
aesthetic  creeds  in  the  manner  of  Parisian  natura- 
lisme  (which   only   brings   into    prominence    and 
uncovers    that    aspect    of    nature    which    excites 
simultaneously    disgust    and    astonishment — they 
like  at  present  to  call  this  aspect  la  viritd  vraie), 
or  in  Nihilism  in   the  St   Petersburg  style   (that 
is    to    say,    in    the    belief   in    unbelief,    even    to 
martyrdom  for  it) : — this  shows  always  and  above 
all   the    need   of    belief,   support,   backbone,   and 
buttress.  .  .  .  Belief  is  always  most  desired,  most 
pressingly  needed,  where  there  is  a  lack  of  will :  for 
the  will,  as  emotion  of  command,  is  the  distin- 
guishing characteristic  of  sovereignty  and  power. 
That  is  to  say,  the  less  a  person  knows  how  to 
command,  the  more  urgent  is  his  desire  for  that  j 
which  commands,  and  commands  sternly, — a  God,  / 
a  prince,  a  caste,  a  physician,  a  confessor,  a  dogma,  / 
a    party  conscience.      From   whence    perhaps    itj^^ 
could    be   inferred    that   the   two   world-religions, 
Buddhism  and  Christianity,  might  well  have  had 
the  cause  of  their  rise,  and  especially  of  their  rapid 
extension,  in  an  extraordinary  maladx_ofjIi£-wUL^ 
And  in  truth  it  has  been  so :  botfi"religions  lighted 
upon  a  longing,  monstrously  exaggerated  by  malady 
of  the  will,  for  an  imperative,  a  "  Thou-shalt,"  a 
longing  going  the  length  of  despair  ;  both  religions 
were  teachers  of  fanaticism  in  times  of  slackness 

.     WE  FEARLESS  ONES  287 

of  will-power,  and  thereby  offered  to  innumerable 
persons  a  support,  a  new  possibility  of  exercising 
will,  an  enjoyment  in  willing.  For  in  fact  fanati- 
cism is  the  sole  "volitional  strength"  to  which 
the  weak  and  irresolute  can  be  excited,  as  a 
sort  of  hypnotising  of  the  entire  sensory-intellectual 
system,  in  favour  of  the  over-abundant  nutrition 
(hypertrophy)  of  a  particular  point  of  view  and  a 
particular  sentiment,  which  then  dominates — the 
Christian  calls  it  hxs  faith.  When  a  man  arrives 
at  the  fundamental  conviction  that  he  requires  to 
be  commanded,  he  becomes  "a  believer."  Reversely, 
one  could  imagine  a  delight  and  a  power  of  self- 
determining,  and  a  freedom  of  will,  whereby  a  spirit  \ 
could  bid  farewell  to  every  belief,  to  every  wish  for  \ 
certainty,  accustomed  as  it  would  be  to  support 
itself  on  slender  cords  and  possibilities,  and  to 
dance  even  on  the  verge  of  abysses.  Such  a  spirit  ^ 
would  be  Xki<tfree  spirit  par  excellence. 

The  Origin  of  the  Learned. — The  learned  man  in 
Europe  grows  out  of  all  the  different  ranks  and 
social  conditions,  like  a  plant  requiring  no  specific 
soil :  on  that  account  he  belongs  essentially  and 
involuntarily  to  the  partisans  of  democratic  thought. 
But  this  origin  betrays  itself.  If  one  has  trained 
one's  glance  to  some  extent  to  recognise  in  a 
learned  book  or  scientific  treatise  the  intellectual 
idiosyncrasy  of  the  learned  man — all  of  them 
have  such  idiosyncrasy, — and  if  we  take  it  by 
surprise,  we  shall  almost  always  get  a  glimpse 
behind   it    of   the  "antecedent    history"    of   the 


learned    man    and   his    family,   especially   of    the 
nature  of  their  callings  and  occupations.     Where 
the   feeling    finds    expression,   "  That    is    at    last 
proved,  I  am  now  done  with  it,"  it  is  commonly 
the   ancestor   in   the   blood   and   instincts   of  the 
learned  man  that  approves  of  the  "accomplished 
work  "  in  the  nook  from  which  he  sees  things ; — 
the  belief  in  the  proof  is  only  an  indication  of  what 
has   been   looked   upon   for   ages   by  a  laborious 
family  as  "good  work."      Take  an  example:  the 
sons  of  registrars  and  office-clerks  of  every  kind, 
whose   main  task  has  always  been  to  arrange  a 
variety  of  material,  distribute  it  in  drawers,  and 
systematise  it  generally,  evince,  when  they  become 
learned  men,  an  inclination  to  regard  a  problem 
as  almost  solved  when  they  have  systematised  it. 
There  are  philosophers  who  are  at  bottom  nothing 
but  systematising  brains — the  formal  part  of  the 
paternal   occupation   has    become   its   essence    to 
them.      The   talent   for  classifications,   for   tables 
of  categories,   betrays   something;    it    is   not   for 
nothing  that  a  person  is  the  child  of  his  parents. 
The  son  of  an  advocate  will  also  have  to  be  an 
advocate  as  investigator:  he  seeks  as  a  first  con- 
sideration, to  carry  the   point   in   his   case,  as  a 
second  consideration,  he  perhaps  seeks  to  be  in 
the  right.     One  recognises  the  sons  of  Protestant 
clergymen   and    schoolmasters    by   the   nafve  as- 
surance with  which  as  learned  men  they  already 
assume  their  case  to  be  proved,  when  it  has  but 
been  presented  by  them  staunchly  and  warmly: 
they  are  thoroughly  accustomed  to  people  believing 
in  them,— it  belonged  to   their  fathers'  "trade"! 


A  Jew,  contrariwise,  in  accordance  with  his 
business  surroundings  and  the  past  of  his  race, 
is  least  of  all  accustomed — to  people  believing 
him.  Observe  Jewish  scholars  with  regard  to  this 
matter, — they  all  lay  great  stress  on  logic,  that 
is  to  say,  on  compelling  assent  by  means  of  reasons  ; 
they  know  that  they  must  conquer  thereby,  even 
when  race  and  class  antipathy  is  against  them,  even 
where  people  are  unwilling  to  believe  them.  For 
in  fact,  nothing  is  more  democratic  than  logic : 
it  knows  no  respect  of  persons,  and  takes  even  the 
crooked  nose  as  straight.  (In  passing  we  may 
remark  that  in  respect  to  logical  thinking,  in 
respect  to  cleaner  intellectual  habits,  Europe  is 
not  a  little  indebted  to  the  Jews ;  above  all  the 
Germans,  as  being  a  lamentably  diraisonnable 
race,  who,  even  at  the  present  day,  must  always 
have  their  "  heads  washed  "*  in  the  first  place. 
Wherever  the  Jews  have  attained  to  influence,  they 
have  taught  to  analyse  more  subtly,  to  argue  more 
acutely,  to  write  more  clearly  and  purely  :  it  has 
always  been  their  problem  to  bring  a  people  "to 

The  Origin  of  the  Learned  once  more. — To  seek 
self-preservation  merely,  is  the  expression  of  a  state 
of  distress,  or  of  limitation  of  the  true,  fundamental 
instinct  of  life,  which  aims  at  the  extension  of  power, 
and  with  this  in  view  often  enough  calls  in  question 
self-preservation   and   sacrifices  it.     It  should   be 

♦  In  German  the  expression  Kopf  zu  waschen,  besides 
the  literal  sense,  also  means  "to  give  a  person  a  sound 
drubbing." — Tr. 


taken  as  symptomatic  when  individual  philosophers, 
as   for  example,  the   consumptive   Spinoza,   have 
seen  and  have  been  obliged  to  see  the  principal 
feature    of   life    precisely   in    the    so-called    self- 
preservative   instinct: — they  have  just  been   men 
in   states  of  distress.     That  our  modern   natural 
sciences  have  entangled  themselves  so  much  with 
Spinoza's    dogma    (finally    and    most    grossly   in 
Darwinism,  with  its   inconceivably  one-sided  doc- 
trine of  the  "  struggle  for  existence  " — ),  is  probably 
owing  to  the  origin  of  most  of  the  inquirers  into 
nature :  they  belong  in  this  respect  to  the  people, 
their  forefathers  have  been  poor  and  humble  persons, 
who  knew  too  well  by  immediate  experience  the 
difficulty  of  making   a   living.     Over    the    whole 
of  English  Darwinism  there  hovers  something  of 
the  suffocating  air  of  over-crowded  England,  some- 
thing of  the  odour  of  humble  people  in  need  and 
in   straits.     But   as   an   investigator   of  nature,   a 
person  ought  to  emerge   from  his  paltry  human 
nook :  and  in  nature  the  state  of  distress  does  not 
prevail,   but   superfluity,   even   prodigality   to   the 
extent  of  folly.     The  struggle  for  existence  is  only 
an  exception,  a  temporary  restriction  of  the  will  to 
live  ;  the  struggle,  be  it  great  or  small,  turns  every- 
where on  predominance,  on  increase  and  expansion, 
on  power,  in  conformity  to  the  will  to  power,  which 
is  just  the  will  to  live. 

In  Honour  of  Homines  Religiosi. — The  struggle 
against    the    church    is    certainly    (among    other 
things — for    it  has   a   manifold    significance)   the 


Struggle  of  the  more  ordinary,  cheerful,  confiding, 
superficial  natures  against  the  rule  of  the  graver, 
profounder,  more  contemplative  natures,  that  is  to 
say,  the  more  malign  and  suspicious  men,  who 
with  long  continued  distrust  in  the  worth  of  life, 
brood  also  over  their  own  worth : — the  ordinary 
instinct  of  the  people,  its  sensual  gaiety,  its  "  good 
heart,"  revolts  against  them.  The  entire  Roman 
Church  rests  on  a  Southern  suspicion  of  the  nature 
of  man  (always  misunderstood  in  the  North),  a 
suspicion  whereby  the  European  South  has  suc- 
ceeded to  the  inheritance  of  the  profound  Orient — 
the  mysterious,  venerable  Asia — and  its  contem- 
plative spirit.  Protestantism  was  a  popular 
insurrection  in  favour  of  the  simple,  the  respect- 
able, the  superficial  (the  North  has  always  been 
more  good-natured  and  more  shallow  than  the 
South),  but  it  was  the  French  Revolution  that  first 
gave  the  sceptre  wholly  and  solemnly  into  the 
hands  of  the  "  good  man  "  (the  sheep,  the  ass,  the 
goose,  and  everything  incurably  shallow,  bawling, 
and  fit  for  the  Bedlam  of  "  modern  ideas  "), 


In  Honour  of  Priestly  Natures. — I  think  that 
philosophers  have  always  felt  themselves  very 
remote  from  that  which  the  people  (in  all  classes 
of  society  nowadays)  take  for  wisdom  :  the  prudent, 
bovine  placidity,  piety,  and  country-parson  meek- 
ness, which  lies  in  the  meadow  and  gazes  at  life 
seriously  and  ruminatingly : — this  is  probably  be- 
cause philosophers  have  not  had  sufficiently  the 
taste  of  the  "people,"  or  of  the  country-parson, 


for  that  kind  of  wisdom.  Philosophers  will  also 
perhaps  be  the  last  to  acknowledge  that  the 
people  should  understand  something  of  that  which 
lies  furthest  from  them,  something  of  the  great 
passion  of  the  thinker,  who  lives  and  must  live 
continually  in  the  storm-cloud  of  the  highest 
problems  and  the  heaviest  responsibilities  (con- 
sequently, not  gazing  at  all,  to  say  nothing  of 
doing  so  indifferently,  securely,  objectively).  The 
people  venerate  an  entirely  different  type  of  men 
when  on  their  part  they  form  the  ideal  of  a 
"sage,"  and  they  are  a  thousand  times  justified 
in  rendering  homage  with  the  highest  eulogies  and 
honours  to  precisely  that  type  of  men — namely, 
the  gentle,  serious,  simple,  chaste,  priestly  natures 
and  those  related  to  them, — it  is  to  them  that 
the  praise  falls  due  in  the  popular  veneration  of 
wisdom.  And  to  whom  should  the  multitude  have 
more  reason  to  be  grateful  than  to  these  men  who 
pertain  to  its  class  and  rise  from  its  ranks,  but  are 
persons  consecrated,  chosen,  and  sacrificed  for  its 
good — they  themselves  believe  themselves  sacrificed 
to  God, — before  whom  every  one  can  pour  forth  his 
heart  with  impunity,  by  whom  he  can  get  rid  of  his 
secrets,  cares,  and  worse  things  (for  the  man  who 
"communicates  himself"  gets  rid  of  himself,  and  he 
who  has  "  confessed  "  forgets).  Here  there  exists  a 
great  need :  for  sewers  and  pure  cleansing  waters 
are  required  also  for  spiritual  filth,  and  rapid 
currents  of  love  are  needed,  and  strong,  lowly,  pure 
hearts,  who  qualify  and  sacrifice  themselves  for 
such  service  of  the  non-public  health-department — 
for  it  is  a  sacrificing,  the  priest  is,  and  continues  to 


be,  a  human  sacrifice.  .  .  .  The  people  regard  such 
sacrificed,  silent,  serious  men  of  "  faith  "  as  "  wisel' 
that  is  to  say,  as  men  who  have  become  sages,  as 
"reliable"  in  relation  to  their  own  unreliability. 
Who  would  desire  to  deprive  the  people  of  that 
expression  and  that  veneration  ? — But  as  is  fair  on 
the  other  side,  among  philosophers  the  priest  also 
is  still  held  to  belong  to  the  "  people,"  and  is  not 
regarded  as  a  sage,  because,  above  all,  they  them- 
selves do  not  believe  in  "  sages,"  and  they  already 
scent  "the  people"  in  this  very  belief  and  super- 
stition. It  was  modesty  which  invented  in  Greece 
the  word  "philosopher,"  and  left  to  the  play- 
actors of  the  spirit  the  superb  arrogance  of  assuming 
the  name  "  wise " — the  modesty  of  such  monsters 
of  pride  and  self-glorification  as  Pythagoras  and 

Why  we  can  hardly  Dispense  with  Morality. — 
The  naked  man  is  generally  an  ignominious 
spectacle — I  speak  of  us  European  males  (and  by 
no  means  of  European  females!).  If  the  most 
joyous  company  at  table  suddenly  found  themselves 
stripped  and  divested  of  their  garments  through  the 
trick  of  an  enchanter,  I  believe  that  not  only  would 
the  joyousness  be  gone  and  the  strongest  appetite 
lost; — it  seems  that  we  Europeans  cannot  at  all 
dispense  with  the  masquerade  that  is  called 
clothing.  But  should  not  the  disguise  of  "  moral 
men,"  the  screening  under  moral  formulae  and 
notions  of  decency,  the  whole  kindly  concealment 
of  our  conduct  under  conceptions  of  duty,  virtue, 
public   sentiment,    honourableness,    and    disinter- 


estedness,  have  just  as  good  reasons  in  support 
of  it?  Not  that  I  mean  hereby  that  human 
wickedness  and  baseness,  in  short,  the  evil  wild 
beast  in  us,  should  be  disguised ;  on  the  con- 
trary, my  idea  is  that  it  is  precisely  as  tame 
animals  that  we  are  an  ignominious  spectacle  and 
require  moral  disguising, — that  the  "inner  man" 
in  Europe  is  far  from  having  enough  of  intrinsic 
evil  "  to  let  himself  be  seen  "  with  it  (to  be  beautiful 
with  it).  The  European  disguises  himself  in 
morality  because  he  has  become  a  sick,  sickly, 
crippled  animal,  who  has  good  reasons  for  being 
"  tame,"  because  he  is  almost  an  abortion,  an  imper- 
fect, weak  and  clumsy  thing.  ...  It  is  not  the  fierce- 
ness of  the  beast  of  prey  that  finds  moral  disguise 
necessary,  but  the  gregarious  animal,  with  its 
profound  mediocrity,  anxiety  and  ennui.  Morality 
dresses  up  the  European — let  us  acknowledge  it ! — 
in  more  distinguished,  more  important,  more  con- 
spicuous guise —  in  "  divine  "  guise — 


The  Origin  of  Religions. — The  real  inventions  of 
founders  of  religions  are,  on  the  one  hand,  to 
establish  a  definite  mode  of  life  and  everyday 
custom,  which  operates  as  disciplina  voluntatis,  and 
at  the  same  time  does  away  with  ennui ;  and  on 
the  other  hand,  to  give  to  that  very  niode  of  life  an 
interpretation,  by  virtue  of  which  it  appears  illumined 
with  the  highest  value ;  so  that  it  henceforth  becomes 
a  good  for  which  people  struggle,  and  under  certain 
circumstances  lay  down  their  lives.     In  truth,  the 


second  of  these  inventions  is  the  more  essential : 
the  first,  the  mode  of  Hfe,  has  usually  been  there 
already,  side  by  side,  however,  with  other  modes  of 
life,  and  still  unconscious  of  the  value  which  it 
embodies.  The  import,  the  originality  of  the 
founder  ot  a  religion,  discloses  itself  usually  in  the 
fact  that  he  sees  the  mode  of  life,  selects  it,  and 
divines  for  the  first  time  the  purpose  for  which  it 
can  be  used,  how  it  can  be  interpreted.  Jesus  (or 
Paul)  for  example,  found  around  him  the  life  of  the 
common  people  in  the  Roman  province,  a  modest, 
virtuous,  oppressed  life :  he  interpreted  it,  he  put 
the  highest  significance  and  value  into  it — and 
thereby  the  courage  to  despise  every  other  mode 
of  life,  the  calm  fanaticism  of  the  Moravians,  the 
secret,  subterranean  self-confidence  which  goes  on 
increasing,  and  is  at  last  ready  "  to  overcome  the 
world  "  (that  is  to  say,  Rome,  and  the  upper  classes 
throughout  the  empire).  Buddha,  in  like  manner, 
found  the  same  type  of  man, — he  found  it  in  fact 
dispersed  among  all  the  classes  and  social  ranks  of 
a  people  who  were  good  and  kind  (and  above  all 
inoffensive),  owing  to  indolence,  and  who  likewise 
owing  to  indolence,  lived  abstemiously,  almost 
without  requirements.  He  understood  that  such  a 
type  of  man,  with  all  its  vis  inertiaey  had  inevitably 
to  glide  into  a  belief  which  promises  to  avoid  the 
return  of  earthly  ill  (that  is  to  say,  labour  and 
activity  generally), — this  "  understanding  "  was  his 
genius.  The  founder  of  a  religion  possesses 
psychological  infallibility  in  the  knowledge  of  a 
definite,  average  type  of  souls,  who  have  not  yet 
recognised  themselves  as  akin.     It  is  he  who  brings 


them  together :  the  founding  of  a  reh'gion,  therefore, 
always  becomes  a  long  ceremony  of  recognition. — 

The  "  Genius  of  the  Species^ — The  problem  of 
consciousness  (or  more  correctly :  of  becoming 
conscious  of  oneself)  meets  us  only  when  we  begin 
to  perceive  in  what  measure  we  could  dispense  with 
it :  and  it  is  at  the  beginning  of  this  perception 
that  we  are  now  placed  by  physiology  and  zoology 
(which  have  thus  required  two  centuries  to  over- 
take the  hint  thrown  out  in  advance  by  Leibnitz). 
For  we  could  in  fact  think,  feel,  will,  and  recollect, 
we  could  likewise  "  act "  in  every  sense  of  the  term, 
and  nevertheless  nothing  of  it  all  need  necessarily 
"  come  into  consciousness "  (as  one  says  meta- 
phorically). The  whole  of  life  would  be  possible 
without  its  seeing  itself  as  it  were  in  a  mirror :  as 
in  fact  even  at  present  the  far  greater  part  of  our 
life  still  goes  on  without  this  mirroring, — and  even 
our  thinking,  feeling,  volitional  life  as  well,  how- 
ever painful  this  statement  may  sound  to  an  older 
philosopher.  What  then  is  the  purpose  of  conscious- 
ness generally,  when  it  is  in  the  main  superfluous .? — 
Now  it  seems  to  me,  if  you  will  hear  my  answer 
and  its  perhaps  extravagant  supposition,  that  the 
subtlety  and  strength  of  consciousness  are  always  in 
proportion  to  the  capacity  for  communication  of  a  man 
(or  an  animal),  the  capacity  for  communication  in 
its  turn  being  in  proportion  to  the  necessity  for 
communication :  the  latter  not  to  be  understood  as  if 
precisely  the  individual  himself  who  is  master  in 
the  art  of  communicating  and  making  known  his 


necessities  would   at   the  same  time  have   to   be 
most  dependent   upon   others  for   his   necessities. 
It  seems  to  me,  however,  to  be  so  in  relation  to 
whole  races  and  successions  of  generations  •  where 
necessity  and  need  have  long  compelled  men  to 
communicate  with   their   fellows   and    understand 
one  another  rapidly  and  subtly,  a  surplus  of  the 
power  and  art  of  communication  is  at  last  acquired 
as  if  It  were  a  fortune  which  had  gradually  accumu- 
lated, and  now  waited  for  an  heir  to  squander  it 
prodigally  (the  so-called  artists  are  these  heirs  in 
like  manner  the  orators,  preachers,  and  authors: 
all  of  them  men  who  come  at  the  end  of  a  long 
succession,  "late-born"  always,  in  the  best  sense  of 
the  word,  and  as  has  been  said,  squanderers  by 
their  very  nature).     Granted  that  this  observation 
IS  correct,  I  may  proceed  further  to  the  conjecture 
that  consciousness  generally  has  only  been  developed 
under  the  pressure  of  the  necessity  for  communica- 
tzon -that  from  the  first  it  has  been  necessary  and 
useful   only  between    man   and    man    (especially 
between   those  commanding  and  those  obeying) 
and  has  only  developed  in  proportion  to  its  utility 
Consciousness  is  properly  only  a  connecting  net- 
work   between    man    and    man,— it    is    only    as 
such    that    it   has    had    to  develop;    the   recluse 
and   wild-beast  species   of  men  would   not  have 
needed    it     The    very    fact     that     our    actions, 
thoughts,  feelings  and   motions   come  within  the 
range  of  our  consciousness-at  least  a  part  of  them 
—is   the   result   of  a  terrible,  prolonged   "must" 
ruhng   man's   destiny:    as   the   most    endangered 
animal  he  needed  hdp  and  protection;  he  needed 


his  fellows,  he  was  obliged  to  express  his  distress, 
he  had  to  know  how  to  make  himself  understood — 
and  for  all  this  he  needed  "  consciousness  "  first  of 
all :  he  had  to  "  know "  himself  what  he  lacked, 
to  "  know "  how  he  felt,  and  to  "  know  "  what  he 
thought.     For,  to  repeat  it  once  more,  man,  like 
every  living  creature,  thinks  unceasingly,  but  does 
not   know   it;    the   thinking   which  is    becoming 
conscious  of  itself  \s  only  the  smallest  part  thereof, 
we  may  say,  the  most  superficial  part,  the  worst 
part : — for  this  conscious  thinking  alone  is  done  in 
words,  that  is  to  say,  in  the  symbols  for  communica- 
tion, by  means  of  which  the  origin  of  consciousness 
is  revealed.     In  short,  the  development  of  speech 
and   the    development   of    consciousness    (not  of 
reason,  but  of  reason  becoming  self-conscious)  go 
hand  in  hand.     Let  it  be  further  accepted  that  it 
is  not  only  speech  that  serves  as  a  bridge  between 
man  and  man,  but  also  the  looks,  the  pressure  and 
the  gestures  ;  our  becoming  conscious  of  our  sense 
impressions,  our  power  of  being  able  to  fix  them, 
and  as  it  were  to  locate  them  outside  of  ourselves, 
has   increased  in  proportion  as  the  necessity  has 
increased  for   communicating   them   to  others  by 
means  of  signs.     The  sign-inventing  man  is  at  the 
same  time  the  man  who  is  always  more  acutely 
self-conscious  ;  it  is  only  as  a  social  animal  that  man 
has  learned  to  become  conscious  of  himself, — he  is 
doing  so  still,  and  doing  so  more  and  more. — As  is 
obvious,  my  idea  is  that  consciousness  does  not 
I  properly  belong  to  the  individual  existence  of  man, 
I  but  rather  to  the  social  and  gregarious  nature  in 
him ;  that,  as  follows  therefrom,  it  is  only  in  rela- 


tion  to  communal  and  gregarious  utility  that  it 
is  finely  developed ;  and  that  consequently  each 
of  us,  in  spite  of  the  best  intention  of  understanding 
himself  as  individually  as  possible,  and  of"  knowing 
himself,"  will  always  just  call  into  consciousness 
the  non-individual  in  him,  namely,  his  "average- 
ness  " ; — that  our  thought  itself  is  continuously  as  it 
were  outvoted  by  the  character  of  consciousness — 
by  the  imperious  "  genius  of  the  species  "  therein — 
and  is  translated  back  into  the  perspective  of  the 
herd.  Fundamentally  our  actions  are  in  an  incom- 
parable manner  altogether  personal,  unique  and 
absolutely  individual — there  is  no  doubt  about  it ; 
but  as  soon  as  we  translate  them  into  conscious- 
ness, they  do  not  appear  so  any  longer.  .  .  .  This  is 
the  proper  phenomenalism  and  perspectivism  as  I 
understand  it :  the  nature  of  animal  consciousness 
involves  the  notion  that  the  world  of  which  we  can 
become  conscious  is  only  a  superficial  and  symbolic 
world,  a  generalised  and  vulgarised  world ; — that 
everything  which  becomes  conscious  becomes  just 
thereby  shallow,  meagre,  relatively  stupid,  —  a 
generalisation,  a  symbol,  a  characteristic  of  the 
herd  ;  that  with  the  evolving  of  consciousness  there 
is  always  combined  a  great,  radical  perversion, 
falsification,  superficialisation,  and  generalisation. 
Finally,  the  growing  consciousness  is  a  danger, 
and  whoever  lives  among  the  most  conscious 
Europeans  knows  even  that  it  is  a  disease.  As 
may  be  conjectured,  it  is  not  the  antithesis  of 
subject  and  object  with  which  I  am  here  con- 
cerned :  I  leave  that  distinction  to  the  episte- 
mologists   who  have   remained   entangled  in   the 


toils  of  grammar  (popular  metaphysics).  It  is 
still  less  the  antithesis  of  "thing  in  itself"  and 
phenomenon,  for  we  do  not  "  know  "  enough  to  be 
entitled  even  to  make  such  a  distinction.  Indeed, 
we  have  not  any  organ  at  all  for  knowings  or  for 
"truth":  we  "know"  (or  believe,  or  fancy)  just  as 
much  as  may  be  of  use  in  the  interest  of  the  human 
herd,  the  species  ;  and  even  what  is  here  called 
"usefulness"  is  ultimately  only  a  belief,  a  fancy, 
and  perhaps  precisely  the  most  fatal  stupidity  by 
which  we  shall  one  day  be  ruined. 

The  Origin  of  our  Conception  of  ^*  Knowledge^ — I 
take  this  explanation  from  the  street,  I  heard  one 
of  the  people  saying  that  "he  knew  me,"  so  I 
asked  myself:  What  do  the  people  really  under- 
stand by  knowledge?  what  do  they  want  when 
they  seek  "knowledge"?  Nothing  more  than 
that  what  is  strange  is  to  be  traced  back  to  some- 
thing known.  And  we  philosophers  —  have  we 
really  understood  anything  more  by  knowledge? 
The  known,  that  is  to  say,  what  we  are  accustomed 
to  so  that  we  no  longer  marvel  at  it,  the  common- 
place, any  kind  of  rule  to  which  we  are  habituated, 
all  and  everything  in  which  we  know  ourselves  to  be 
at  home: — what?  is  our  need  of  knowing  not  just 
this  need  of  the  known?  the  will  to  discover  in 
everything  strange,  unusual,  or  questionable,  some- 
thing which  no  longer  disquiets  us?  Is  it  not 
possible  that  it  should  be  the  instinct  of  fear  which 
enjoins  upon  us  to  know  ?  Is  it  not  possible  that 
the  rejoicing  of  the  discerner  should  be  just  his 


rejoicing  in  the  regained  feeling  of  security  ?  .  .  . 
One    philosopher    imagined    the   world   "  known " 
when  he  had  traced  it  back  to  the  "  idea " :  alas, 
was   it   not   because   the  idea  was  so  known,    so 
familiar  to  him  ?  because  he  had  so  much  less  fear 
of  the  "idea" — Oh,  this   moderation  of  the  dis- 
cerners !  let  us  but  look  at  their  principles,  and  at 
their  solutions  of  the  riddle  01  the  world  in  this 
connection  !     When  they  again  find  aught  in  things, 
among  things,  or  behind  things  that  is  unfortunately 
very  well  known  to  us,  for  example,  our  multiplica- 
tion table,  or  our  logic,  or  our  willing  and  desiring, 
how  happy  they  immediately  are!     For  "what  is 
known  is  understood":  they  are  unanimous  as  to 
that.   Even  the  most  circumspect  among  them  think 
that  the  known  is  at  least  more  easily  understood thaLn 
the  strange ;  that  for  example,  it  is  methodically 
ordered  to  proceed  outward  from  the  "inner  world," 
from  "  the  facts  of  consciousness,"  because  it  is  the 
world  which  is  better  known  to  us  !    Error  ol  errors ! 
The  known  is  the  accustomed,  and  the  accustomed 
is  the  most  difficult  of  all  to  "understand,"  that 
is  to  say,  to  perceive  as  a  problem,  to  perceive 
as  strange,  distant,  "  outside  of  us."  .  .  .  The  great 
certainty  of  the  natural  sciences  in  comparison  with 
psychology  and  the  criticism  of  the  elements  of 
consciousness — unnatural  sciences,  as  one   might 
almost  be  entitled  to  call  them — rests  precisely  on 
the  fact  that  they  take  what  is  strange  as  their 
object:   while  it  is  almost  like  something  contra- 
dictory and  absurd  to  wish  to  take  generally  what 
is  not  strange  as  an  object.  .  .  . 



In  what  Manner  Europe  will  always  become  ''more 
Artisticr—YroVxdXnz  a   living  still  enforces  even 
in  the  present  day  (in  our  transition  period  when 
so  much  ceases  to  enforce)  a  definite  rdle  on  almost 
all  male  Europeans,  their  so-called  callings ;  some 
have   the   liberty,  an  apparent  liberty,  to  choose 
this  rdle  themselves,  but  most  have  it  chosen  for 
them.     The  result  is  strange  enough.     Almost  all 
Europeans   confound    themselves    with   their  rdle 
when  they  advance  in  age;  they  themselves  are  the 
victims  of  their  "good  acting,"  they  have  forgotten 
how  much  chance,  whim  and  arbitrariness  swayed 
them  when  their  "calling"  was  decided— and  how 
many  other  roles  they  could  perhaps  have  played  : 
for  it  is  now  too  late  !     Looked  at  more  closely,  we 
see  that  their  characters  have  actually  evolved  ont 
of  their  role,  nature  out  of  art.     There  were  ages  in 
which  people  believed  with  unshaken  confidence, 
yea,  with  piety,  in  their  predestination  for  this  very 
business,  for   that   very  mode  of  livelihood,   and 
would    not    at    all    acknowledge    chance,  or    the 
fortuitous   role,   or  arbitrariness   therein.     Ranks, 
guilds,  and  hereditary  trade  privileges  succeeded' 
with  the  help  of  this  belief,  in  rearing  those  extra- 
ordinary broad  towers  of  society  which  distinguished 
the  Middle  Ages,  and  of  which  at  all  events  one 
thing  remains  to  their  credit :  capacity  for  duration 
(and  duration  is  a  thing  of  the  first  rank  on  earth !). 
But  there  are  ages  entirely  the  reverse,  the  properly 
democratic  ages,  in  which  people  tend  to  become 
more  and  more  oblivious  of  this  belief,  and  a  sort 


of  impudent  conviction  and  quite  contrary  mode 
of  viewing  things  comes  to  the  front,  the  Athenian 
conviction  which  is  first  observed  in  the  epoch  of 
Pericles,  the  American  conviction  of  the  present 
day,  which  wants  also  more  and  more  to  become 
a  European  conviction :  whereby  the  individual  is 
convinced  that  he  can  do  almost  anything,  that  he 
can  play  almost  any  rSle,  whereby  everyone  makes  ex- 
periments with  himself,  improvises,  tries  anew,  tries 
with  delight,  whereby  all  nature  ceases  and  becomes 
art.  .  .  .  The  Greeks,  having  adopted  this  rdle- 
creed—an  artist  creed,  if  you  will — underwent  step 
by  step,  as  is  well  known,  a  curious  transformation, 
not  in  every  respect  worthy  of  imitation:  t^ey 
became  actual  stage-players;  and  as  such  they 
enchanted,  they  conquered  all  the  world,  and  at  last 
even  the  conqueror  of  the  world,  (for  the  Graeculus 
histrio  conquered  Rome,  and  not  Greek  culture,  as 
the  nafve  are  accustomed  to  say  .  .  .).  What  I 
fear,  however,  and  what  is  at  present  obvious,  if  we 
desire  to  perceive  it,  is  that  we  modern  men  are 
quite  on  the  same  road  already;  and  whenever  a  man 
begins  to  discover  in  what  respect  he  plays  a  role, 
and  to  what  extent  he  can  be  a  stage-player,  he 
becomes  a  stage-player.  ...  A  new  flora  and  fauna 
of  men  thereupon  springs  up,  which  cannot  grow  in 
more  stable,  more  restricted  eras — or  is  left  "  at  the 
bottom,"  under  the  ban  and  suspicion  of  infamy ; 
thereupon  the  most  interesting  and  insane  periods 
of  history  always  make  their  appearance,  in  which 
"  stage-players,"  all  kinds  of  stage-players,  are  the 
real  masters.  Precisely  thereby  another  species 
of  man  is  always  more  and  more  injured,  and  in 


the  end   made   impossible:    above  all   the  great 
"architects";    the   building  power   is   now  being 
paralysed  ;  the  courage  that  makes  plans  for  the 
distant  future  is  disheartened  ;  there  begins  to  be 
a  lack  of  organising  geniuses.     Who  is  there  who 
would   now   venture  to  undertake  works   for  the 
completion  of  which  millenniums  would  have  to  be 
reckoned  upon  ?     The  fundamental  belief  is  dying 
out,  on  the  basis  of  which   one  could   calculate, 
promise  and  anticipate  the  future  in  one's  plan,  and 
offer  it  as  a  sacrifice  thereto,  that  in  fact  man  has  only 
value  and  significance  in  so  far  as  he  is  a  stone  in  a 
great  building ;  for  which  purpose  he  has  first  of  all 
to  be  solid,  he  has  to  be  a  "  stone."  .  .  .  Above  all, 
not   a— stage-player !      In  short— alas!    this   fact 
will  be  hushed  up  for  some  considerable  time  to 
come ! — that  which  from  henceforth  will  no  longer 
be  built,  and  can  no  longer  be  built,  is — a  society 
in  the  old  sense  of  the  term  ;  to  build  that  structure 
everything    is    lacking,    above    all,    the    material. 
None  of  us  are  any  longer  material  for  a  society: 
that   is   a   truth  which  is  seasonable  at  present! 
It  seems  to  me  a  matter  of  indifference  that  mean- 
while  the  most  short-sighted,   perhaps   the   most 
honest,  and  at  any  rate  the  noisiest  species  of  men 
of  the  present  day,  our  friends  the  Socialists,  believe, 
hope,  dream,  and  above  all   scream  and  scribble 
almost  the  opposite ;  in  fact  one  already  reads  their 
watchword  of  the  future:    "free   society,"  on  all 
tables  and  walls.    Free  society?    Indeed!    Indeed! 
But  you  know,  gentlemen,  sure  enough  whereof  one 
builds  it?    Out  of  wooden  iron !    Out  of  the  famous 
wooden  iron  I     And  not  even  out  of  wooden  .  .  . 



The  old  Problem  :  "  What  is  German  ?  "—Let  us 

count  up  apart  the  real  acquisitions  of  philosophical 
thought  for  which  we  have  to  thank  German 
mtellects:  are  they  in  any  allowable  sense  to  be 
counted  also  to  the  credit  of  the  whole  race  ?  Can 
we  say  that  they  are  at  the  same  time  the  work  of 
the  German  soul,"  or  at  least  a  symptom  of  it,  in 
the  sense  in  which  we  are  accustomed  to  think  for 
example,  of  Plato's  ideomania,  his  almost  relig  ous 

of  the    Greek  soul"?    Or  would  the  reverse  per- 
haps  be  trueP     Were  they  individually  as  m^ch 
excepuons  to  the  spirit  of  the  race,  as  was    for 
example,   Goethe's    Paganism  with   k  good   con 
science  P    Or  as  Bismarck's  Macchiavelism  was  with 
a  good  conscience,  his  so-called  "practical  politics" 
in  Germany;.    Did  our  philosophers  perhL  even 
go  counter  to  the  need  of  the  «  German  souP'  ?     I^ 
soohicri"^     '  ^T'"  Ph"°=°Phers  really  philo- 
Zh    V    r^T-      '  '^"  '°  -""d  three  cases, 
i' ■rstly,Z«te^  ^  incomparable  insight-with  which 
he  obtained  the  advantage  not  only  over  Desclrtes 
but  over  all  who  had  philosophised^up  to  his  toe  !!' 
that  consciousness  is  only  an  accident  of  mental 

Ittribut  1r;  '"'  ""'  "^  necessary  and  essential 
attribute,  that  consequently  what  we  call  conscious- 
ness  only  constitutes  a  state  of  our  spiritual  and 
psychical  world  (perhaps  a  morbid  state)  and  s>". 
from  be^ng  that  ^orld  ltsel/:-is  there  anythfg 
German  in  this  thought,  the  profundity  of  Ch  ch 
has  not  as  yet  been  exhausted?     Is  there  reason 


to  think   that  a   person  of  the  Latin  race  would 
not  readily  have  stumbled  on  this  reversal  of  the 
apparent  ? — for  it  is  a  reversal.     Let  us  call  to  mind 
secondly,  the  immense  note  of  interrogation  which 
Kant  wrote  after  the  notion  of  causality.     Not  that 
he  at  all  doubted  its  legitimacy,  like  Hume:    on 
the  contrary,  he   began   cautiously  to   define  the 
domain  within  which  this  notion  has  significance 
generally  (we  have  not  even  yet  got  finished  with 
the   marking  out  of  these   limits).     Let   us   take 
thirdly,  the  astonishing  hit  of  Hegel,  who  stuck  at 
no  logical  usage  or  fastidiousness  when  he  ventured 
to  teach  that  the  conceptions  of  kinds  develop  out 
of  one  another :   with  which  theory  the  thinkers  in 
Europe  were  prepared  for  the  last  great  scientific 
movement,  for  Darwinism — for  without  Hegel  there 
would  have  been  no   Darwin.     Is  there  anything 
German    in   this   Hegelian  innovation  which  first 
introduced   the   decisive   conception   of  evolution 
into   science? — Yes,   without   doubt  we   feel   that 
there  is  something  of  ourselves  "  discovered "  and 
divined  in  all  three  cases ;   we  are  thankful  for  it, 
and  at  the  same  time  surprised;    each   of  these 
three  principles  is  a  thoughtful  piece  of  German 
self-confession,  self-understanding,  and  self-know- 
ledge.     We   feel   with   Leibnitz   that  "our  inner 
world  is  far  richer,  ampler,  and  more  concealed  " ; 
as  Germans  we  are  doubtful,  like  Kant,  about  the 
ultimate  validity  of  scientific  knowledge  of  nature, 
and    in    general    about   whatever  can    be    known 
caiisaliter :  the  knowable  as  such  now  appears  to  us 
of  less  worth.     We  Germans  should  still  have  been 
Hegelians,  even  though  there  had  never  been  a 


Hegel,  inasmuch  as  we  (in  contradistinction  to  all 
Latin  peoples)  instinctively  attribute  to  becoming, 
to  evolution,  a  profounder  significance  and  higher 
value  than  to  that  which  "  is  " — we  hardly  believe 
at  all  in  the  validity  of  the  concept  "being." 
This  is  all  the  more  the  case  because  we  are  not 
inclined  to  concede  to  our  human  logic  that  it  is 
logic  in  itself,  that  it  is  the  only  kind  of  logic  (we 
should  rather  like,  on  the  contrary,  to  convince 
ourselves  that  it  is  only  a  special  case,  and  perhaps 
one  of  the  strangest  and  most  stupid). — A  fourth 
question  would  be  whether  also  Schopenhauer  with 
his  Pessimism,  that  is  to  say,  the  problem  of 
the  worth  of  existence^  had  to  be  a  German.  I 
think  not.  The  event  after  which  this  problem 
was  to  be  expected  with  certainty,  so  that  an 
astronomer  of  the  soul  could  have  calculated  the 
day  and  the  hour  for  it — namely,  the  decay  of  the 
belief  in  the  Christian  God,  the  victory  of  scientific 
atheism, — is  a  universal  European  event,  in  which 
all  races  are  to  have  their  share  of  service  and 
honour.  On  the  contrary,  it  has  to  be  ascribed 
precisely  to  the  Germans — those  with  whom 
Schopenhauer  was  contemporary, — that  they  de- 
layed this  victory  of  atheism  longest,  and  en- 
dangered it  most.  Hegel  especially  was  its  retarder 
par  excellence,  in  virtue  of  the  grandiose  attempt 
which  he  made  to  persuade  us  at  the  very  last 
of  the  divinity  of  existence,  with  the  help  of  our 
sixth  sense,  "  the  historical  sense."  As  philosopher, 
Schopenhauer  was  the  first  avowed  and  infllexible 
atheist  we  Germans  have  had :  his  hostility  to 
Hegel   had    here    its    motive.      The   non-divinity 


of  existence   was  regarded  by  him  as  something 
understood,  palpable,  indisputable  ;   he  always  lost 
his  philosophical  composure  and  got  into  a  passion 
when  he  saw  anyone  hesitate  and  beat  about  the 
bush  here.     It  is  at  this  point  that  his  thorough 
uprightness  of  character  comes  in  :   unconditional, 
honest  atheism  is  precisely  the  preliminary  condition 
for  his  raising  the  problem,  as  a  final  and  hardwon 
victory  of  the  European  conscience,  as  the  most 
prolific   act  of  two   thousand  years'  discipline  to 
truth,  which   in  the  end  no   longer  tolerates  the 
lie  of  the  belief  in  a  God.  .  .  .  One  sees  what  has 
really  gained  the  victory  over  the  Christian  God — , 
Christian  morality  itself,  the  conception  of  veracity, 
taken  ever  more  strictly,  the  confessional  subtlety 
of  the   Christian   conscience,  translated  and  sub- 
limated to  the  scientific  conscience,  to  intellectual 
purity  at  any  price.     To  look  upon  nature  as  if  it 
were  a  proof  of  the  goodness  and  care  of  a  God  ; 
to  interpret  history  in  honour  of  a  divine  reason, 
as  a  constant  testimony  to  a  moral  order  in  the 
world   and    a    moral    final    purpose ;    to   explain 
personal    experiences    as    pious    men    have    long 
enough    explained  them,  as  if  everything  were  a 
dispensation  or   intimation   of  Providence,  some- 
thing planned  and  sent  on  behalf  of  the  salvation 
of  the  soul :  all  that  is  no^  past,  it  has  conscience 
against  it,  it   is   regarded   by  all  the  more  acute 
consciences    as    disreputable    and    dishonourable, 
as    mendaciousness,    femininism,    weakness,    and 
cowardice, — by  virtue  of  this  severity,  if  by  any- 
thing, we  are  good  Europeans,  the  heirs  of  Europe's 
longest  and  bravest  self-conquest.     When  we  thus 


reject  the  Christian  interpretation,  and  condemn 
its  "significance"  as  a  forgery,  we  are  immediately 
confronted  in  a  striking  manner  with  the  Schopen- 
hauerian  question  :  Has  existence  then  a  significance 
at  all? — the  question  which  will  require  a  couple  of 
centuries  even  to  be  completely  heard  in  all  its 
profundity.     Schopenhauer's   own   answer   to  this 

question  was— if  I  may  be  forgiven  for  saying  so 

a  premature,  juvenile  reply,  a  mere   compromise, 
a  stoppage  and  sticking  in  the  very  same  Christian- 
ascetic,  moral  perspectives,  the  belief  in  which  had 
got  notice  to  quit  along  with  the  belief  in  God. 
But  he  raised  the  question— as  a  good  European, 
as  we  have  said,  and  not  as  a  German.— Or  did  the 
Germans  prove  at  least  by  the  way  in  which  they 
seized   on    the    Schopenhauerian    question,    their 
inner  connection   and   relationship   to   him,   their 
preparation  for  his  problem,  and  their  need  of  it  ? 
That  there  has  been  thinking  and  printing  even 
in    Germany  since    Schopenhauer's   time   on   the 
problem   raised   by  him,— it  was   late  enough!— 
does  not  at  all  suffice  to  enable  us  to  decide   in 
fLivour  of  this  closer   relationship;    one  could,  on 
the  contrary,  lay  great  stress  on  the  peculiar  awk- 
wardness of  this  post-Schopenhauerian  Pessimism 
—Germans   evidently   do   not   behave  themselves 
here  as  in  their  element.     I  do  not  at  all  allude 
here  to  Eduard  von  Hartmann ;   on  the  contrary, 
my  old  suspicion  is  not  vanished  even  at  present 
that  he  is  too  clever  for  us  ;    I  mean  to  say  that  as 
arrant  rogue  from  the  very  first,  he  did  not  perhaps 
make  merry  solely  over  German  Pessimism— and 
that  in  the  end   he  might  probably  "bequeathe" 


to  them  the  truth  as  to  how  far  a  person  could 
bamboozle  the  Germans  themselves  in  the  age  of 
bubble  companies.  But  further,  are  we  perhaps 
to  reckon  to  the  honour  of  Germans,  the  old 
humming-top,  Bahnsen,  who  all  his  life  spun  about 
with  the  greatest  pleasure  around  his  realistically 
dialectic  misery  and  "  personal  ill-luck," — was  that 
German?  (In  passing  I  recommend  his  writings 
for  the  purpose  for  which  I  myself  have  used  them, 
as  anti-pessimistic  fare,  especially  on  account  of  his 
elegantia  psychologica,  which,  it  seems  to  me,  could 
alleviate  even  the  most  constipated  body  and  soul). 
Or  would  it  be  proper  to  count  such  dilettanti  and 
old  maids  as  the  mawkish  apostle  of  virginity, 
Mainlander,  among  the  genuine  Germans?  After 
all  he  was  probably  a  Jew  (all  Jews  become 
mawkish  when  they  moralise).  Neither  Bahnsen, 
nor  Mainlander,  nor  even  Eduard  von  Hartmann, 
give  us  a  reliable  grasp  of  the  question  whether  the 
pessimism  of  Schopenhauer  (his  frightened  glance 
into  an  undeified  world,  which  has  become  stupid, 
blind,  deranged  and  problematic,  his  honourable 
fright)  was  not  only  an  exceptional  case  among 
Germans,  but  a  German  event :  while  everything 
else  which  stands  in  the  foreground,  like  our 
valiant  politics  and  our  joyful  Jingoism  (which 
decidedly  enough  regards  everything  with  refer- 
ence to  a  principle  sufficiently  unphilosophical : 
^*  Deutschland,  Deutschland,  fiber  A  lies, ^'*  conse- 
quently sub  specie  speciei,  namely,  the  German 
species),  testifies  very  plainly  to  the  contrary.     No  ! 

*  ^'^  Germany,  Germany,  above  alP' :  the  first  line  of  the 
German  national  song. — Tr. 


The  Germans  of  to-day  are  not  pessimists !  And 
Schopenhauer  was  a  pessimist,  I  repeat  it  once 
more,  as  a  good  European,  and  not  as  a  German. 

The  Peasant  Revolt  of  the  Spirit. — We  Europeans 
find  ourselves  in  view  of  an  immense  world  of  ruins, 
where  some  things  still  tower  aloft,  while  other 
objects  stand  mouldering  and  dismal,  where  most 
things  however  already  lie  on  the  ground,  pic- 
turesque enough — where  were  there  ever  finer 
ruins? — overgrown  with  weeds,  large  and  small. 
It  is  the  Church  which  is  this  city  of  decay:  we 
see  the  religious  organisation  of  Christianity 
shaken  to  its  deepest  foundations.  The  belief  in 
God  is  overthrown,  the  belief  in  the  Christian 
ascetic  ideal  is  now  fighting  its  last  fight.  Such  a 
long  and  solidly  built  work  as  Christianity — it  was 
the  last  construction  of  the  Romans ! — could  not 
of  course  be  demolished  all  at  once ;  every  sort 
of  earthquake  had  to  shake  it,  every  sort  of  spirit 
which  perforates,  digs,  gnaws  and  moulders  had 
to  assist  in  the  work  of  destruction.  But  that 
which  is  strangest  is  that  those  who  have  exerted 
themselves  most  to  retain  and  preserve  Christianity, 
have  been  precisely  those  who  did  most  to  destroy 
it, — the  Germans.  It  seems  that  the  Germans  do 
not  understand  the  essence  of  a  Church.  Are  they 
not  spiritual  enough,  or  not  distrustful  enough  to 
do  so?  In  any  case  the  structure  of  the  Church 
rests  on  a  southern  freedom  and  liberality  of  spirit, 
and  similarly  on  a  southern  suspicion  of  nature, 
man,  and  spirit, — it  rests  on  a  knowledge  of  man 


an  experience  of  man,  entirely  different  from  what 
the  north  has   had.     The  Lutheran  Reformation 
in  all  its  length  and  breadth  was  the  indignation 
of  the   simple  against   something   "complicated." 
To  speak  cautiously,  it  was  a  coarse,  honest  mis- 
understanding, in  which  much  is  to  be  forgiven, — 
people  did  not  understand  the  mode  of  expression 
of  a  victorious  Church,  and  only  saw  corruption  ; 
they  misunderstood  the  noble  scepticism,  the  luxury 
of  scepticism  and  toleration  which  every  victorious, 
self-confident   power   permits.  .  .  .  One  overlooks 
the  fact  readily  enough  at  present  that  as  regards 
all   cardinal   questions   concerning    power   Luther 
was  badly  endowed  ;  he  was  fatally  short-sighted, 
superficial   and   imprudent — and    above   all,   as   a 
man  sprung  from  the   people,  he  lacked  all  the 
hereditary  qualities  of  a  ruling  caste,  and  all  the 
instincts  for  power  ;  so  that  his  work,  his  intention 
to  restore  the  work  of  the  Romans,  merely  became 
involuntarily  and  unconsciously  the  commencement 
of  a  work  of  destruction.     He  unravelled,  he  tore 
asunder  with  honest  rage,  where  the  old  spider  had 
woven  longest  and  most  carefully.     He  gave  the 
sacred  books  into  the  hands   of  everyone, — they 
thereby  got  at  last  into  the  hands  of  the  philologists, 
that  is  to  say,  the  annihilators  of  every  belief  based 
upon   books.     He   demolished   the   conception   of 
"the  Church"  in  that  he  repudiated  the  belief  in 
the  inspiration  of  the  Councils  :  for  only  under  the 
supposition   that    the   inspiring   spirit   which   had 
founded  the  Church  still  lives  in  it,  still  builds  it, 
still  goes  on  building  its  house,  does  the  conception 
of  "  the  Church  "  retain  its  power.     He  gave  back 


to  the  priest  sexual  intercourse :  but  three-fourths 
of  the  reverence  of  which  the  people  (and  above 
all  the  women  of  the  people)  are  capable,  rests  on 
the  belief  that  an  exceptional  man  in  this  respect 
will  also  be  an  exceptional  man  in  other  respects. 
It  is  precisely  here  that  the  popular  belief  in  some- 
thing  superhuman   in   man,  in   a  miracle,  in  the 
saving  God  in  man,  has  its  most  subtle  and  insidi- 
ous advocate.     After  Luther  had  given  a  wife  to 
the  priest,  he  had  to  take  from  him  auricular  confes- 
sion ;  that  was  psychologically  right :  but  thereby  he 
practically  did  away  with  the  Christian  priest  him- 
self, whose  profoundest  utility  has  ever  consisted! 
m  his  being  a  sacred  ear,  a  silent  well,  and  a  grave' 
for  secrets.     «  Every  man  his  own  priest  "—behind 
such  formula  and  their  bucolic  slyness,  there  was 
concealed    in    Luther  the   profoundest   hatred   of 
"higher  men,"  and  of  the  rule  of  "higher  men,"  as 
the  Church  had  conceived  them.    Luther  disowned 
an  ideal  which  he  did  not  know  how  to  attain, 
while  he  seemed  to  combat  and  detest  the  degenera- 
tion thereof.     As  a  matter  of  fact,  he,  the  impossible 
monk,  repudiated  the  rule  of  the  homines  religiosi  • 
he  consequently  brought  about  precisely  the  same 
thing  within   the   ecclesiastical   social   order  that 
he  combated  so  impatiently  in  the  civic  order,— 
namely  a  "peasant  insurrection."— As  to  all  that 
grew  out  of  his  Reformation  afterwards,  good  and 
bad,  which  can  at  present  be  almost  counted  up,— 
who  would  be  naive  enough  to  praise  or   blame 
Luther  simply  on  account  of  these  results?     He 
is   innocent   of  all;    he   knew   not  what   he  did. 
The  art  of  making  the  European  spirit  shallower 


especially  in  the  north,  or  more  good-natured,  if 
people  would  rather  hear  it  designated  by  a  moral 
expression,   undoubtedly    took    a    clever    step    m 
advance  in  the  Lutheran  Reformation  ;  and  similarly 
there  grew  out  of  it  the  mobility  and  disquietude 
of  the  spirit,  its  thirst  for  independence,  its  belief 
in  the  right  to  freedom,  and  its  "  naturalness."     If 
people  wish  to  ascribe  to  the  Reformation  in  the 
last  instance   the   merit  of  having  prepared  and 
favoured    that    which    we    at    present    honour  as 
«  modern  science,"  they  must  of  course  add  that  it 
is  also  accessory  to  bringing  about  the  degenera- 
tion   of    the    modern    scholar,  with    his    lack    of 
reverence,  of  shame  and  of  profundity  ;   and  that 
it    is    also    responsible    for    all    nafve    candour 
and    plain-dealing    in    matters    of   knowledge,   in 
short  for  the  plebeianism   of  the  spirit  which   is 
peculiar  to  the  last  two  centuries,  and  from  which 
even    pessimism    hitherto,  has    not   in   any  way 
delivered  us.     "  Modern  ideas"  also  belong  to  this 
peasant  insurrection  of  the  north  against  the  colder, 
more  ambiguous,  more  suspicious  spirit  of  the  south, 
which  has  built  itself  its  greatest  monument  in  the 
Christian  Church.     Let  us  not  forget  in  the  end 
what  a  Church  is,  and  especially  in  contrast  to  every 
"State"-   a  Church  is  above  all  an  authoritative 
organisation  which  secures   to   the  most  spiritual 
men  the  highest  rank,  and  believes  in  the  power  of 
spirituality  so  far  as  to  forbid  all  grosser  appliances 
of  authority.     Through  this  alone  the  Church  is 
under  all  circumstances  a  nobler  institution  than 
the  State.— 




Vengeance  on  Intellect,  and  other  Backgrounds  of 
i^^w/Z/j.—Morality— where   do  you  think  it  has 
Its   most   dangerous   and  rancorous   advocates?— 
There,  for  example,  is  an  ill-constituted  man,  who 
does  not  possess  enough  of  intellect  to  be  able  to 
take  pleasure  in  it,  and  just  enough  of  culture  to 
be  aware  of  the  fact ;    bored,  satiated,  and  a  self- 
despiser ;  besides  being  cheated  unfortunately  by 
some  hereditary  property  out  of  the  last  consolation, 
the  "blessing  of  labour,"  the  self-forgetfulness  in 
the  "  day's  work  "  ;  one  who  is  thoroughly  ashamed 
of  his   existence— perhaps   also   harbouring  some 
vices,— and  who  on  the  other  hand  (by  means  of 
books  to  which  he  has  no  right,  or  more  intellectual 
society  than  he  can  digest),  cannot  help  vitiating 
himself  more  and  more,  and  making  himself  vain 
and  irritable :   such  a  thoroughly  poisoned  man— 
for    intellect    becomes    poison,    culture    becomes 
poison,  possession  becomes  poison,  solitude  becomes 
poison,  to  such  ill-constituted  beings— gets  at  last 
into  a  habitual  state  of  vengeance  and  inclination 
for  vengeance.  .  .  .  What  do  you  think  he  finds 
necessary,  absolutely  necessary  in   order   to   give 
himself  the  appearance  in  his  own  eyes  of  superi- 
ority  over  more   intellectual   men,  so  as  to  give 
himself  the  delight  of  perfect  revenge,  at  least  in 
imagination?       It    is    always    morality    that    he 
requires,  one  may  wager  on  it ;  always  the  big  moral 
words,  always   the  high-sounding  words:    justice, 
wisdom,  holiness,  virtue ;  always  the  Stoicism  of 
gestures  (how  well  Stoicism  hides  what  one  does  not 


possess!);  always  the  mantle  of  wise  silence,  of 
affability,  of  gentleness,  and  whatever  else  the 
idealist-mantle  is  called,  in  which  the  incurable 
self-despisers  and  also  the  incurably  conceited  walk 
about.  Let  me  not  be  misunderstood  :  out  of  such 
born  enemies  of  the  spirit  there  arises  now  and  then 
the  rare  specimen  of  humanity  who  is  honoured 
by  the  people  under  the  name  of  saint  or  sage :  it 
is  out  of  such  men  that  there  arise  those  prodigies 
of  morality  that  make  a  noise,  and  make  history, — 
St  Augustine  was  one  of  these  men.  Fear  of  the 
intellect,  vengeance  on  the  intellect — Oh !  how  often 
have  these  powerfully  impelling  vices  become  the 
root  of  virtues  !  Yea,  virtue  itself ! — And  asking 
the  question  among  ourselves,  even  the  philosopher's 
pretension  to  wisdom,  which  has  occasionally  been 
made  here  and  there  on  the  earth,  the  maddest 
and  most  immodest  of  all  pretensions, — has  it  not 
always  been  above  all  in  India  as  well  as  in  Greece, 
a  means  of  concealment  ?  Sometimes,  perhaps,  from 
the  point  of  view  of  education  which  hallows  so 
many  lies,  it  is  a  tender  regard  for  growing  and 
evolving  persons,  for  disciples  who  have  often  to  be 
guarded  against  themselves  by  means  of  the  belief 
in  a  person  (by  means  of  an  error).  In  most  cases, 
however,  it  is  a  means  of  concealment  for  a  philo- 
sopher, behind  which  he  seeks  protection,  owing  to 
exhaustion,  age,  chilliness,  or  hardening;  as  a  feeling 
of  the  approaching  end,  as  the  sagacity  of  the  instinct 
which  animals  have  before  their  death, — they  go 
apart,  remain  at  rest,  choose  solitude,  creep  into 
caves,  become  wise.  .  .  .  What  ?  Wisdom  a  means  of 
concealment  of  the  philosopher  from — intellect  ? — 



Two  Kinds  of  Causes  which  are  Coiifsunded.— 
It  seems  to  me  one  of  my  most  essential  steps  and 
advances  that  I   have  learned  to  distinguish  the 
cause  of  an  action  generally  from  the  cause  of  an 
action  in  a  particular  manner,  say,  in  this  direction, 
with  this  aim.     The  first  kind  of  cause  is  a  quantum' 
of  stored-up  force,  which  waits  to  be  used  in  some 
manner,  for  some   purpose;    the   second   kind  of 
cause,  on  the  contrary,  is  something  quite  unim- 
portant in  comparison  with  the  first,  an  insignifi- 
cant hazard  for  the  most  part,  in  conformity  with 
which  the  quantum  of  force  in  question  "  discharges  " 
itself  in   some  unique  and  definite  manner :    the 
lucifer-match  in  relation  to  the  barrel  of  gunpowder 
Among    those   insignificant   hazards   and   lucifer- 
matches   I   count  all   the    so-called   "aims,"  and 
similarly  the  still  more  so-called  "  occupations  "  of 
people :  they  are  relatively  optional,  arbitrary,  and 
almost    mdififerent    in    relation   to    the    immense 
quantum  of  force  which  presses  on,  as  we  have 
said,  to  be  used  up  in  any  way  whatever.     One 
generally  looks  at  the  matter  in  a  different  manner : 
one  is  accustomed  to  see  the  impelling  force  pre- 
cisely in  the  aim  (object,  calling,  &c.),  according  to 
a  primeval  error,— but  it  is  only  the  directing  force  • 
the  steersman  and  the  steam  have  thereby  been 
confounded.     And   yet   it  is  not   even   always   a 
steersman,  the  directing  force.  ...  Is  the  "aim" 
the   "purpose,"   not   often    enough   only  an    ex- 
tenuating  pretext,  an  additional   self-blinding  of 
conceit,  which  does  not  wish  it  to  be  said  that  the 


^\-^  follows  the  stream  into  which  it  has  accidentally 
run  ?  That  it  "  wishes  "  to  go  that  way,  because  it 
must  go  that  way?  That  it  has  a  direction,  sure 
enough,  but— not  a  steersman?  We  still  require 
a  criticism  of  the  conception  of  "  purpose." 


The  Problem  of  the  Actor. — The  problem  of  the 
actor  has  disquieted  me  the  longest ;    I  was  uncer- 
tain (and  am  sometimes  so  still)  whether  one  could 
not  get  at  the  dangerous  conception  of  "  artist " — 
a  conception  hitherto  treated  with  unpardonable 
leniency — from  this  point  of  view.     Falsity  with  a 
good  conscience  ;  delight  in  dissimulation  breaking 
forth   as   power,  pushing   aside,  overflowing,   and 
sometimes  extinguishing  the  so-called  "character"; 
the  inner  longing  to  play  a  rdle,  to  assume  a  mask, 
to  put  on  an  appearance  ;  a  surplus  of  capacity  for 
adaptations  of  every  kind,  which   can  no  longer 
gratify  themselves  in   the  service  of  the  nearest 
and  narrowest  utility:   all  that  perhaps  does  not 
pertain  solely  to  the  actor  in  himself?  .  .  .  Such  an 
instinct  would  develop  most  readily  in  families  of 
the  lower  class  of  the  people,  who  have  had  to  pass 
their  lives  in  absolute  dependence,  under  shifting 
pressure    and    constraint,   who  (to    accommodate 
themselves  to  their  conditions,  to  adapt  themselves 
always  to  new  circumstances)  had  again  and  again 
to  pass  themselves  off  and  represent  themselves  as 
different  persons,  —  thus   having  gradually  quali- 
fied themselves  to  adjust  the  mantle  to  every  wind, 
thereby   almost    becoming    the    mantle    itself,  as 


masters  of  the  embodied  and  incarnated  art  of 
eternally  playing  the  game  of  hide  and  seek,  which 
one  calls  mimicry  among  the  animals  : — until  at  last 
this  ability,  stored  up  from  generation  to  genera- 
tion, has  become  domineering,  irrational  and 
intractable,  till  as  instinct  it  begins  to  command 
the  other  instincts,  and  begets  the  actor  and 
"artist"  (the  buffoon,  the  pantaloon,  the  Jack- 
Pudding,  the  fool,  and  the  clown  in  the  first  place, 
also  the  classical  type  of  servant,  Gil  Bias  :  for  in 
such  types  one  has  the  precursors  of  the  artist, 
and  often  enough  even  of  the  "genius").  Also 
under  higher  social  conditions  there  grows  under 
similar  pressure  a  similar  species  of  men  :  only  the 
histrionic  instinct  is  there  for  the  most  part  held 
strictly  in  check  by  another  instinqt,  for  example, 
among  "diplomatists";— for  the  rest,  I  should  think 
that  it  would  always  be  open  to  a  good  diplomat- 
ist to  become  a  good  actor  on  the  stage,  provided 
his  dignity  "allowed"  it.  As  regards  the  Jews, 
however,  the  adaptable  people  par  excellence,  we 
should,  in  conformity  to  this  line  of  thought, 
expect  to  see  among  them  a  world-wide  historical 
institution  at  the  very  first,  for  the  rearing  of 
actors,  a  proper  breeding-place  for  actors;  and 
in  fact  the  question  is  very  pertinent  just  now: 
what  good  actor  at  present  is  not—2L  Jew?  The 
Jew  also,  as  a  born  literary  man,  as  the  actual 
ruler  of  the  European  press,  exercises  this  power 
on  the  basis  of  his  histrionic  capacity:  for  the 
literary  man  is  essentially  an  actor,  —  he  plays 
the  part  of  "expert,"  of  " specialist."  —  Finally 
women.      If   we    consider   the   whole   history   of 


women,  are  they  not  obliged  first  of  all,  and  above 
all  to  be  actresses?  If  we  listen  to  doctors  who  have 
hypnotised  women,  or,  finally,  if  we  love  them — 
and  let  ourselves  be  "  hypnotised  "  by  them,— what 
is  always  divulged  thereby?  That  they  "give 
themselves  airs,"  even  when  they— "give  them- 
selves." .  .  .  Woman  is  so  artistic  .  .  . 

My  Belief  in  the  Virilising  of  Europe.— V^Q  owe 
it  to   Napoleon   (and   not   at   all   to   the   French 
Revolution,  which  had  in  view  the  "  fraternity  "  of 
the   nations,  and   the   florid   interchange  of  good 
graces  among  people  generally)  that  several  warlike 
centuries,  which  have  not  had  their  like  in  past 
history,  may  now  follow  one  another — in  short,  that 
we  have  entered  upon  the  classical  age  of  war,  war 
at  the  same  time   scientific  and  popular,  on  the 
grandest    scale   (as    regards    means,  talents    and 
discipline),  to  which  all  coming  millenniums  will 
look  back  with  envy  and  awe  as  a  work  of  perfec- 
tion :— for  the  national   movement   out  ot  which 
this  martial  glory  springs,  is  only  the  counter-^^^^ 
against   Napoleon,   and   would   not  have    existed 
without  him.     To  him,  consequently,  one  will  one 
day  be  able  to  attribute  the  fact  that  man  in  Europe 
has  again  got  the  upper  hand  of  the  merchant  and 
the   Philistine;   perhaps  even   of  "woman"   also, 
who  has  become  pampered  owing  to  Christianity 
and    the    extravagant    spirit    of   the    eighteenth 
century,  and  still  more  owing  to  "  modern  ideas." 
Napoleon,  who  saw  in  modern  ideas,  and  accord- 
ingly  in   civilisation,   something   like   a    personal 


enemy,  has  by  this  hostility  proved  himself  one  of 
the  greatest  continuators  of  the  Renaissance :  he 
has  brought  to  the  surface  a  whole  block  of  the 
ancient  character,  the  decisive  block  perhaps,  the 
block  of  granite.  And  who  knows  but  that  this 
block  of  ancient  character  will  in  the  end  get  the 
upper  hand  of  the  national  movement,  and  will 
have  to  make  itself  in  2i  positive  sense  the  heir  and 
continuator  of  Napoleon  : — who,  as  one  knows, 
wanted  one  Europe,  which  was  to  be  mistress  of 
the  world. — 

How  each  Sex  has  its  Prejudice  about  Love. — 
Notwithstanding  all  the  concessions  which  I  am 
inclined  to  make  to  the  monogamic  prejudice,  I 
will  never  admit  that  we  should  speak  of  equal 
rights  in  the  love  of  man  and  woman :  there  are 
no  such  equal  rights.     The  reason  is  that  man  and 
woman    understand    something    different    by    the 
term  love, — and  it  belongs  to  the  conditions  of  love 
in  both  sexes  that  the  one  sex  does  not  presuppose 
the  same  feeling,  the  same  conception  of  "  love,"  in 
the  other  sex.     What  woman  understands  by  love 
is  clear  enough:   complete  surrender  (not  merely 
devotion)  of  soul  and  body,  without  any  motive, 
without  any  reservation,  rather  with   shame   and 
terror  at  the  thought  of  a  devotion  restricted  by 
clauses    or    associated   with    conditions.      In   this 
absence  of  conditions  her  love  is  precisely  a  faith  : 
woman    has    no    other. — Man,  when  he  loves   a 
woman,  wants  precisely  this   love  from   her;    he 
is   consequently,  as   regards   himself,  furthest  re- 
moved  from   the   prerequisites  of  feminine  love; 


granted,  however,  that  there  should  also  be  men 
to  whom  on  their  side  the  demand  for  complete 
devotion  is  not  unfamiliar, — well,  they  are  really — 
not  men.  A  man  who  loves  like  a  woman  becomes 
thereby  a  slave  ;  a  woman,  however,  who  loves  like 
a  woman  becomes  thereby  a  more  perfect  woman. 
.  .  .  The  passion  of  woman  in  its  unconditional 
renunciation  of  its  own  rights  presupposes  in  fact 
that  there  does  not  exist  on  the  other  side  an  equal 
pathos,  an  equal  desire  for  renunciation  :  for  if  both 
renounced  themselves  out  of  love,  there  would 
result — well,  I  don't  know  what,  perhaps  a  horror 
vacui?  Woman  wants  to  be  taken  and  accepted 
as  a  possession,  she  wishes  to  be  merged  in  the 
conceptions  of  "  possession  "  and  "  possessed  "  ; 
consequently  she  wants  one  who  takes,  who  does 
not  offer  and  give  himself  away,  but  who  reversely 
is  rather  to  be  made  richer  in  "himself" — by  the 
increase  of  power,  happiness  and  faith  which  the 
woman  herself  gives  to  him.  Woman  gives  herself, 
man  takes  her.  —  I  do  not  think  one  will  get 
over  this  natural  contrast  by  any  social  contract, 
or  with  the  very  best  will  to  do  justice,  however 
desirable  it  may  be  to  avoid  bringing  the  severe, 
frightful,  enigmatical,  and  unmoral  elements  of  this 
antagonism  constantly  before  our  eyes.  For  love, 
regarded  as  complete,  great,  and  full,  is  nature,  and 
as  nature,  is  to  all  eternity  something  "unmoral." 
— Fidelity  is  accordingly  included  in  woman's  love, 
it  follows  from  the  definition  thereof;  with  man 
fidelity  may  readily  result  in  consequence  of  his 
love,  perhaps  as  gratitude  or  idiosyncrasy  of  taste, 
and    so-called   elective    affinity,  but  it  does   not 


belong  to  the  essence  of  his  love — and  indeed  so 
little,  that  one  might  almost  be  entitled  to  speak 
of  a  natural  opposition  between  love  and  fidelity 
in  man,  whose  love  is  just  a  desire  to  possess,  and 
not  a  renunciation  and  giving  away ;  the  desire  to 
possess,  however,  comes  to  an  end  every  time  with 
the  possession.  ...  As  a  matter  of  fact  it  is  the 
more  subtle  and  jealous  thirst  for  possession  in  a 
man  (who  is  rarely  and  tardily  convinced  of  having 
this  "  possession  "),  which  makes  his  love  continue ; 
in  that  case  it  is  even  possible  that  his  love  may 
increase  after  the  surrender, — he  does  not  readily 
own  that  a  woman  has  nothing  more  to  "  surrender  " 
to  him. — 

The  Anchorite  Speaks. — The  art  of  associating 
with  men  rests  essentially  on  one's  skilfulness 
(which  presupposes  long  exercise)  in  accepting  a 
repast,  in  taking  a  repast,  in  the  cuisine  of  which 
one  has  no  confidence.  Provided  one  comes  to  the 
table  with  the  hunger  of  a  wolf  everything  is  easy 
("the  worst  society  gives  thee  experience''  —  as 
Mephistopheles  says) ;  but  one  has  not  always  this 
wolf s-hunger  when  one  needs  it !  Alas  I  how  diffi- 
cult are  our  fellow-men  to  digest !  First  principle  : 
to  stake  one's  courage  as  in  a  misfortune,  to  seize 
boldly,  to  admire  oneself  at  the  same  time,  to  take 
one's  repugnance  between  one's  teeth,  to  cram  down 
one's  disgust.  Second  principle:  to  "improve"  one's 
fellow-man,  by  praise  for  example,  so  that  he  may 
begin  to  sweat  out  his  self-complacency ;  or  to  seize 
a  tuft  of  his  good  or  "  interesting "  qualities,  and 
pull  at  it  till  one  gets  his  whole  virtue  out,  and  can 


put  him  under  the  folds  of  it.  Third  principle: 
self-hypnotism.  To  fix  one's  eye  on  the  object 
of  one's  intercourse  as  on  a  glass  knob,  until,  ceas- 
ing to  feel  pleasure  or  pain  thereat,  one  falls  asleep 
unobserved,  becomes  rigid,  and  acquires  a  fixed 
pose:  a  household  recipe  used  in  married  life  and 
in  friendship,  well  tested  and  prized  as  indispens- 
able, but  not  yet  scientifically  formulated.  Its 
proper  name  is — patience.— 

The  Anchorite  Speaks  once  more.—'^^  also  have 
intercourse  with  "men,"  we  also  modestly  put  on 
the  clothes  in  which   people   know  us  {as  such), 
respect  us  and  seek  us  ;  and  we  thereby  mingle  in 
society,  that  is  to  say,  among  the  disguised  who 
do  not  wish  to  be  so  called  ;  we  also  do  like  a 
prudent  masqueraders,  and  courteously  dismiss  all 
curiosity  which  has  not  reference  merely  to  our 
"clothes"     There  are  however  other  modes  and 
artifices  for  "going  about"  among  men  and  associ- 
ating with  them:  for  example,  as  a  ghost,-which 
is  very  advisable  when  one  wants  to  scare  them, 
and  get  rid  of  them  easily.     An  example  :  a  person 
grasps  at  us,  and   is  unable   to   seize  us.      That 
frightens  him.     Or  we  enter  by  a  closed  door.     Or 
when  the  lights  are  extinguished.     Or  after  we  are 
dead     The  latter  is  the  artifice  oi  posthumous  men 
par  excellence,    ("What?"  said  such  a  one  once  im- 
patiently, "do  you  think  we  should  d/ight  m  en- 
during   this   strangeness,   coldness,   death-stillness 
^      about  us,  all  this  subterranean,  hidden,  dim,  undis- 
covered solitude,  which  is  called  life  with  us,  and 


might  just  as  well  be  called  death,  if  we  were  not 
conscious  of  what  tvill  arise  out  of  us, — and  that 
only  after  our  death  shall  we  attain  to  our  life  and 
become  living,  ah!  very  living!  we  posthumous 
men ! "— ) 

At  the  Sight  of  a  Learned  Book. — We  do  not 
belong  to  those  who  only  get  their  thoughts  from 
books,  or  at  the  prompting  of  books, — it  is  our 
custom  to  think  in  the  open  air,  walking,  leaping, 
climbing,  or  dancing  on  lonesome  mountains  by 
preference,  or  close  to  the  sea,  where  even  the  paths 
become  thoughtful.  Our  first  question  concerning 
the  value  of  a  book,  a  man,  or  a  piece  of  music  is : 
Can  it  walk?  or  still  better:  Can  it  dance?  .  .  . 
We  seldom  read  ;  we  do  not  read  the  worse  for  that 
— oh,  how  quickly  we  divine  how  a  person  has 
arrived  at  his  thoughts : — if  it  is  by  sitting  before 
an  ink-bottle  with  compressed  belly  and  head  bent 
over  the  paper :  oh,  how  quickly  we  are  then  done 
with  his  book!  The  constipated  bowels  betray 
themselves,  one  may  wager  on  it,  just  as  the  atmo- 
sphere of  the  room,  the  ceiling  of  the  room,  the 
smallness  of  the  room,  betray  themselves. — These 
were  my  feelings  when  closing  a  straightforward, 
learned  book,  thankful,  very  thankful,  but  also 
relieved.  ...  In  the  book  of  a  learned  man  there  is 
almost  always  something  oppressive  and  oppressed : 
the  "specialist"  comes  to  light  somewhere,  his 
ardour,  his  seriousness,  his  wrath,  his  over-estimation 
of  the  nook  in  which  he  sits  and  spins,  his  hump — 
every  specialist  has  his  hump.  A  learned  book 
also  always  mirrors  a  distorted  soul :   every  trade 


distorts.  Look  at  our  friends  again  with  whom 
we  have  spent  our  youth,  after  they  have  taken 
possession  of  their  science :  alas !  how  the  reverse 
has  always  taken  place !  Alas !  how  they  them- 
selves are  now  for  ever  occupied  and  possessed  by 
their  science !  Grown  into  their  nook,  crumpled  into 
unrecognisability,  constrained,  deprived  of  their 
equilibrium,  emaciated  and  angular  everywhere, 
perfectly  round  only  in  one  place, — we  are  moved 
and  silent  when  we  find  them  so.  Every  handi- 
craft, granting  even  that  it  has  a  golden  floor,*  has 
also  a  leaden  ceiling  above  it,  which  presses  and 
presses  on  the  soul,  till  it  is  pressed  into  a  strange 
and  distorted  shape.  There  is  nothing  to  alter 
here.  We  need  not  think  that  it  is  at  all  possible 
to  obviate  this  disfigurement  by  any  educational 
artifice  whatever.  Every  kind  of  perfection  is  pur- 
chased at  a  high  price  on  earth,  where  everything 
is  perhaps  purchased  too  dear;  one  is  an  expert 
in  one's  department  at  the  price  of  being  also  a 
victim  of  one's  department.  But  you  want  to  have 
it  otherwise — "more  reasonable,"  above  all  more 
convenient — is  it  not  so,  my  dear  contemporaries  ? 
Very  well !  But  then  you  will  also  immediately 
get  something  different :  instead  of  the  craftsman 
and  expert,  you  will  get  the  literary  man,  the 
versatile,  "  many-sided  "  litterateur,  who  to  be  sure 
lacks  the  hump — not  taking  account  of  the  hump 
or  bow  which  he  makes  before  you  as  the  shopman 
of  the  intellect  and  the  "  porter  "  of  culture — ,  the 
litterateur,  who  is  really  nothing,  but  "  represents  " 

*  An  allusion  to  the  German  Proverb,  "Handwerk  hat 
einen  goldenen  Boden." — Tr. 


almost  everything :  he  plays  and  "  represents  "  the 
expert,  he  also  takes  it  upon  himself  in  all  modesty 
to  see  that  he  is  paid,  honoured  and  celebrated  in 
this  position. — No,  my  learned  friends!  I  bless 
you  even  on  account  of  your  humps !  And  also 
because  like  me  you  despise  the  litterateurs  and 
parasites  of  culture!  And  because  you  do  not 
know  how  to  make  merchandise  of  your  intellect ! 
And  have  so  many  opinions  which  cannot  be  ex- 
pressed in  money  value !  And  because  you  do  not 
represent  anything  which  you  are  not !  Because 
your  sole  desire  is  to  become  masters  of  your  craft ; 
because  you  reverence  every  kind  of  mastership  and 
ability,  and  repudiate  with  the  most  relentless 
scorn  everything  of  a  make-believe,  half-genuine, 
dressed-up,  virtuoso,  demagogic,  histrionic  nature 
in  litteris  et  artibus — all  that  which  does  not  con- 
vince you  by  its  absolute  genuineness  of  discipline 
and  preparatory  training,  or  cannot  stand  your 
test !  (Even  genius  does  not  help  a  person  to  get 
over  such  a  defect,  however  well  it  may  be  able 
to  deceive  with  regard  to  it :  one  understands  this 
if  one  has  once  looked  closely  at  our  most  gifted 
painters  and  musicians, — who  almost  without  ex- 
ception, can  artificially  and  supplementarily  appro- 
priate to  themselves  (by  means  of  artful  inventions 
of  style,  make-shifts,  and  even  principles),  the 
appearance  of  that  genuineness,  that  solidity  of 
training  and  culture ;  to  be  sure,  without  thereby 
deceiving  themselves,  without  thereby  imposing 
perpetual  silence  on  their  bad  consciences.  For 
you  know  of  course  that  all  great  modern  artists 
suffer  from  bad  consciences  ?  .  .  .) 



How  one  has  to  Distinguish  first  of  all  in 
Works  (?/"y4^/'.— Everything  that  is  thought,  versi- 
fied, painted  and  composed,  yea,  even  built  and 
moulded,  belongs  either  to  monologic  art,  or  to 
art  before  witnesses.  Under  the  latter  there  is  also 
to  be  included  the  apparently  monologic  art  which 
involves  the  belief  in  God,  the  whole  lyric  of  prayer; 
because  for  a  pious  man  there  is  no  solitude, — we, 
the  godless,  have  been  the  first  to  devise  this  inven- 
tion. I  know  of  no  profounder  distinction  in  all  the 
perspective  of  the  artist  than  this:  Whether  he 
looks  at  his  growing  work  of  art  (at  "  himself — ") 
with  the  eye  of  the  witness  ;  or  whether  he  "  has 
forgotten  the  world,"  as  is  the  essential  thing  in  all 
monologic  art, — it  rests  on  forgetting^  it  is  the  music 
of  forgetting. 


The  Cynic  Speaks. — My  objections  to  Wagner's 
music  are  physiological  objections.  Why  should  I 
therefore  begin  by  disguising  them  under  aesthetic 
formulae?  My  "point"  is  that  I  can  no  longer 
breathe  freely  when  this  music  begins  to  operate 
on  me ;  my  foot  immediately  becomes  indignant 
at  it  and  rebels :  for  what  it  needs  is  time,  dance 
and  march  ;  it  demands  first  of  all  from  music  the 
ecstasies  which  are  in  good  walking,  striding,  leap- 
ing and  dancing.  But  do  not  my  stomach,  my 
heart,  my  blood  and  my  bowels  also  protest? 
Do  I  not  become  hoarse  unawares  under  its 
influence?  And  then  I  ask  myself  what  my 
body  really  wants  from  music  generally.      I  be- 


lieve  it  wants  to  have  relief:  so  that  all  animal 
functions  should  be  accelerated  by  means  of  light, 
bold,  unfettered,   self-assured    rhythms;    so   that 
brazen,  leaden  life  should  be  gilded  by  means  of 
golden,  good,  tender  harmonies.     My  melancholy 
would  fain  rest  its  head  in  the  hiding-places  and 
abysses  oi perfection  :  for  this  reason  I  need  music. 
What  do  I  care  for  the  drama !     What  do  I  care 
for  the  spasms  of  its  moral  ecstasies,  in  which  the 
"people"  have    their  satisfaction!     What    do    I 
care  for  the  whole  pantomimic  hocus-pocus  of  the 
actor !  .    .    .  It  will   now  be  divined   that   I   am 
essentially  anti-theatrical  at  heart,— but  Wagner  on 
the  contrary,  was  essentially  a  man  of  the  stage  and 
an  actor,  the  most  enthusiastic  mummer-worshipper 
that  has  ever  existed,  even  among  musicians !  .  .  . 
And  let  it  be  said  in   passing  that   if  Wagner's 
theory  was  that  "drama  is  the  object,  and  music  is 
only  the  means  to  K—hX^  practice  on  the  contrary 
from  beginning  to  end  has  been  to  the  effect  that 
"attitude  is  the  object,  drama  and  even  music  can 
never  be  anything  else  but  means  to  thisr     Music 
as  a  means  of  elucidating,  strengthening  and  inten- 
sifying dramatic  poses  and  the  actor's  appeal  to  the 
senses,  and  Wagnerian  drama  only  an  opportunity 
for  a    number    of   dramatic    attitudes!     Wagner 
possessed,  along  with  all  other  instincts,  the  dicta- 
torial instinct  of  a  great  actor  in  all  and  everything, 
and  as  has  been  said,  also  as  a  musician.— I  once 
made  this  clear  with  some  trouble  to  a  thorough- 
going Wagnerian,  and  I  had  reasons  for  adding  :— 
"Do  be  a  little  more  honest  with  yourself:  we  are 
not  now  in  the  theatre.     In  the  theatre  we  are  only 


honest  in  the  mass ;  as  individuals  we  lie,  we  belie 
even  ourselves.  We  leave  ourselves  at  home  when 
we  go  to  the  theatre ;  we  there  renounce  the  right 
to  our  own  tongue  and  choice,  to  our  taste,  and 
even  to  our  courage  as  we  possess  it  and  practise 
it  within  our  own  four  walls  in  relation  to  God  and 
man.  No  one  takes  his  finest  taste  in  art  into  the 
theatre  with  him,  not  even  the  artist  who  works 
for  the  theatre :  there  one  is  people,  public, 
herd,  woman,  Pharisee,  voting  animal,  democrat, 
neighbour,  and  fellow-creature ;  there  even  the 
most  personal  conscience  succumbs  to  the  levelling 
charm  of  the  'great  multitude';  there  stupidity 
operates  as  wantonness  and  contagion ;  there  the 
neighbour  rules,  there  one  becomes  a  neighbour.  .  .  ." 
(I  have  forgotten  to  mention  what  my  enlightened 
Wagnerian  answered  to  my  physiological  objec- 
tions:  "So  the  fact  is  that  you  are  really  not 
healthy  enough  for  our  music  ?  " — ) 

Juxtapositions  in  us. — Must  we  not  acknowledge 
to  ourselves,  we  artists,  that  there  is  a  strange 
discrepancy  in  us  ;  that  on  the  one  hand  our  taste, 
and  on  the  other  hand  our  creative  power,  keep 
apart  in  an  extraordinary  manner,  continue  apart, 
and  have  a  separate  growth  ; — I  mean  to  say  that 
they  have  entirely  different  gradations  and  tempi 
of  age,  youth,  maturity,  mellowness  and  rotten- 
ness ?  So  that,  for  example,  a  musician  could  all 
his  life  create  things  which  contradicted  all  that 
his  ear  and  heart,  spoilt  for  listening,  prized, 
relished  and  preferred : — he  would   not   even  re- 


quire  to  be  aware  of  the  contradiction !  As  an 
almost  painfully  regular  experience  shows,  a 
person's  taste  can  easily  outgrow  the  taste  of 
his  power,  even  without  the  latter  being  thereby 
paralysed  or  checked  in  its  productivity.  The 
reverse,  however,  can  also  to  some  extent  take 
place, — and  it  is  to  this  especially  that  I  should 
like  to  direct  the  attention  of  artists.  A  constant 
producer,  a  man  who  is  a  "  mother  "  in  the  grand 
sense  of  the  term,  one  who  no  longer  knows  or 
hears  of  anything  except  pregnancies  and  child- 
beds of  his  spirit,  who  has  no  time  at  all  to  reflect 
and  make  comparisons  with  regard  to  himself  and 
his  work,  who  is  also  no  longer  inclined  to  exercise 
his  taste,  but  simply  forgets  it,  letting  it  take  its 
chance  of  standing,  lying  or  falling, — perhaps  such 
a  man  at  last  produces  works  on  which  he  is 
then  quite  unfit  to  pass  a  judgment:  so  that  he 
speaks  and  thinks  foolishly  about  them  and  about 
himself.  This  seems  to  me  almost  the  normal 
condition  with  fruitful  artists, — nobody  knows  a 
child  worse  than  its  parents — and  the  rule  applies 
even  (to  take  an  immense  example)  to  the  entire 
Greek  world  of  poetry  and  art,  which  was  never 
"  conscious  "  of  what  it  had  done.  .  .  . 

What  is  Romanticism  ? — It  will  be  remembered 
perhaps,  at  least  among  my  friends,  that  at  first 
I  assailed  the  modern  world  with  some  gross 
errors  and  exaggerations,  but  at  any  rate  with  hope 
in  my  heart.  I  recognised — who  knows  from  what 
personal  experiences? — the  philosophical  pessimism 


of  the  nineteenth  century  as  the  symptom  of  a 
higher  power  of  thought,  a  more  daring  courage 
and  a  more  triumphant  plenitude  of  life  than  had 
been  characteristic  of  the  eighteenth  century,  the 
age  of  Hume,  Kant,  Condillac,  and  the  sensualists  : 
so  that  the  tragic  view  of  things  seemed  to  me  the 
peculiar  luxury  of  our  culture,  its  most  precious, 
noble,  and  dangerous  mode  of  prodigality ;  but 
•f  nevertheless,  in  view  of  its  overflowing  wealth,  a 
justifiable  luxury.  In  the  same  way  I  interpreted 
for  myself  German  music  as  the  expression  of  a 
Dionysian  power  in  the  German  soul :  I  thought 
I  heard  in  it  the  earthquake  by  means  of  which  a 
primeval  force  that  had  been  imprisoned  for  ages 
was  finally  finding  vent — indifferent  as  to  whether 
all  that  usually  calls  itself  culture  was  thereby 
made  to  totter.  It  is  obvious  that  I  then  mis- 
understood what  constitutes  the  veritable  character 
both  of  philosophical  pessimism  and  of  German 
music,  —  namely,  their  Romanticism.  What  is 
Romanticism?  Every  art  and  every  philosophy 
may  be  regarded  as  a  healing  and  helping  appli- 
ance in  the  service  of  growing,  struggling  life : 
they  always  presuppose  suffering  and  sufferers. 
But  there  are  two  kinds  of  sufferers :  on  the  one 
hand  those  that  suffer  from  overflowing  vitality ^  who 
need  Dionysian  art,  and  require  a  tragic  view  and 
insight  into  life  ;  and  on  the  other  hand  those  who 
suffer  from  reduced  vitality,  who  seek  repose,  quiet- 
ness, calm  seas,  and  deliverance  from  themselves 
through  art  or  knowledge,  or  else  intoxication, 
spasm,  bewilderment  and  madness.  All  Romanti- 
cism in  art  and  knowledge  responds  to  the  twofold 


craving  of  the  latter  ;  to  them  Schopenhauer  as  well 
as  Wagner  responded   (and   responds), — to  name 
those  most  celebrated   and  decided   romanticists, 
who  were  then  misunderstood  by  me  {not  however  to 
their  disadvantage,  as  may  be  reasonably  conceded 
to  me).     The  being  richest  in  overflowing  vitality, 
the  Dionysian  God  and  man,  may  not  only  allow 
himself  the  spectacle  of  the  horrible  and  question- 
able, but  even  the  fearful  deed  itself,  and  all  the 
luxury  of  destruction,  disorganisation  and  negation. 
With  him  evil,  senselessness  and  ugliness  seem  as 
it  were  licensed,  in  consequence  of  the  overflowing 
plenitude  of  procreative,  fructifying  power,  which 
can  convert  every  desert  into  a  luxuriant  orchard. 
Conversely,  the  greatest  sufferer,  the  man  poorest 
in  vitality,  would  have  most  need  of  mildness,  peace 
and  kindliness  in  thought  and  action :  he  would 
need,  if  possible,  a  God  who  is  specially  the  God 
of  the  sick,  a  "  Saviour  "  ;  similarly  he  would  have 
need  of  logic,  the  abstract  intelligibility  of  exist- 
ence— for  logic  soothes  and  gives  confidence  ; — in 
short  he  would  need  a  certain  warm,  fear-dispelling 
narrowness   and    imprisonment   within    optimistic 
horizons.     In   this  manner  I  gradually  began   to 
understand  Epicurus,  the  opposite  of  a  Dionysian 
pessimist; — in  a  similar  manner  also  the  "Christian," 
who  in  fact  is  only  a  type  of  Epicurean,  and  like 
him  essentially  a  romanticist : — and  my  vision  has 
always  become  keener  in  tracing  that  most  diffi- 
cult and    insidious   of  all    forms   of  retrospective 
inference,  in  which  most  mistakes  have  been  made — 
the  inference  from  the  work  to  its  author    from 
the  deed  to  its  doer,  from  the  ideal  to  him  who 


needs  it,  from  every  mode  of  thinking  and  valuing 
to  the  imperative  want  behind  it. — In  regard  to  all 
aesthetic  values  I  now  avail  myself  of  this  radical 
distinction  :  I  ask  in  every  single  case,  "  Has  hunger 
or  superfluity  become  creative  here  ?  "  At  the  out- 
set another  distinction  might  seem  to  recommend 
itself  more — it  is  far  more  conspicuous, — namely, 
to  have  in  view  whether  the  desire  for  rigidity,  for 
perpetuation,  for  being  is  the  cause  of  the  creating, 
or  the  desire  for  destruction,  for  change,  for  the 
new,  for  the  future — for  becoming.  But  when  looked 
at  more  carefully,  both  these  kinds  of  desire  prove 
themselves  ambiguous,  and  are  explicable  precisely 
according  to  the  before-mentioned,  and,  as  it  seems 
to  me,  rightly  preferred  scheme.  The  desire  for 
destruction,  change  and  becoming,  may  be  the 
expression  of  overflowing  power,  pregnant  with 
futurity  (my  terminus  for  this  is  of  course  the  word 
"Dionysian");  but  it  may  also  be  the  hatred  of  the 
ill-constituted,  destitute  and  unfortunate,  which 
destroys,  and  must  destroy,  because  the  enduring, 
yea,  all  that  endures,  in  fact  all  being,  excites  and 
provokes  it.  To  understand  this  emotion  we  have 
but  to  look  closely  at  our  anarchists.  The  will 
to  perpetuation  requires  equally  a  double  inter- 
pretation. It  may  on  the  one  hand  proceed  from 
gratitude  and  love : — art  of  this  origin  will  always 
be  an  art  of  apotheosis,  perhaps  dithyrambic,  as 
with  Rubens,  mocking  divinely,  as  with  Hafiz,  or 
clear  and  kind-hearted  as  with  Goethe,  and  spread- 
ing a  Homeric  brightness  and  glory  over  every- 
thing (in  this  case  I  speak  of  Apollonian  art).  It 
may  also,  however,  be  the  tyrannical   will  of  a 


sorely-suffering,  struggling  or  tortured  being,  who 
would  like  to  stamp  his  most  personal,  individual 
and  narrow  characteristics,  the  very  idiosyn- 
crasy of  his  suffering,  as  an  obligatory  law  and 
constraint  on  others;  who,  as  it  were,  takes 
revenge  on  all  things,  in  that  he  imprints,  enforces 
and  brands  his  image,  the  image  of  his  torture, 
upon  them.  The  latter  is  romantic  pessimism  in 
its  most  extreme  form,  whether  it  be  as  Schopen- 
hauerian  will-philosophy,  or  as  Wagnerian  music  : — 
romantic  pessimism,  the  last  great  event  in  the 
destiny  of  our  civilisation.  (That  there  may  be 
quite  a  different  kind  of  pessimism,  a  classical 
pessimism — this  presentiment  and  vision  belongs 
to  me,  as  something  inseparable  from  me,  as  my 
proprium  and  ipsissimum ;  only  that  the  word 
"  classical "  is  repugnant  to  my  ears,  it  has  become 
far  too  worn,  too  indefinite  and  indistinguish- 
able. I  call  that  pessimism  of  the  future, — for  it 
is  coming !  I  see  it  coming ! — Dionysian  pessimism.) 

We  Unintelligible  Ones. — Have  we  ever  com- 
plained among  ourselves  of  being  misunderstood, 
misjudged,  and  confounded  with  others ;  of  being 
calumniated,  misheard,  and  not  heard  ?  That  is  just 
our  lot — alas,  for  a  long  time  yet !  say,  to  be  modest, 
until  1901 — ,  it  is  also  our  distinction  ;  we  should  not 
have  sufficient  respect  for  ourselves  if  we  wished 
it  otherwise.  People  confound  us  with  others — 
the  reason  of  it  is  that  we  ourselves  grow,  we 
change  continually,  we  cast  off  old  bark,  we  still 
slough  every  spring,  we  always  become  younger, 


higher,  stronger,  as  men  of  the  future,  we  thrust 
our  roots  always  more  powerfully  into  the  deep— 
into  evil—,  while  at  the  same  time  we  embrace 
the  heavens  ever  more  lovingly,  more  extensively, 
and  suck  in  their  light  ever  more  eagerly  with 
all  our  branches  and  leaves.  We  grow  like  trees 
—that  is  difficult  to  understand,  like  all  life !— not 
in  one  place,  but  everywhere,  not  in  one  direction 
only,  but  upwards  and  outwards,  as  well  as  inwards 
and  downwards.  At  the  same  time  our  force 
shoots  forth  in  stem,  branches,  and  roots ;  we  are 
really  no  longer  free  to  do  anything  separately,  or 
to  be  anything  separately.  .  .  .  Such  is  our  lot,  as 
we  have  said  :  we  grow  in  height;  and  even  should 
it  be  our  calamity — for  we  dwell  ever  closer  to 
the  lightning !— well,  we  honour  it  none  the  less 
on  that  account ;  it  is  that  which  we  do  not  wish 
to  share  with  others,  which  we  do  not  wish  to 
bestow  upon  others,  the  fate  of  all  elevation,  our 
fate.  .  .  . 

Why  we  are  not  Idealists.— Formerly  philosophers 
were  afraid  of  the  senses  :  have  we,  perhaps,  been 
far  too  forgetful  of  this  fear?  We  are  at  present 
all  of  us  sensualists,  we  representatives  of  the 
present  and  of  the  future  in  philosophy,— «^/ 
according  to  theory,  however,  but  in  praxis,  in 
practice.  .  .  .  Those  former  philosophers,  on  the 
contrary,  thought  that  the  senses  lured  them  out 
of  their  world,  the  cold  realm  of  "ideas,"  to  a  dan- 
gerous southern  island,  where  they  were  afraid  that 
their  philosopher-virtues  would  melt  away  like  snow 
in  the  sun.    "  Wax  in  the  ears,''  was  then  almost  a 


condition  of  philosophising ;  a  genuine  philosopher 
no  longer  listened  to  life,  in  so  far  as  life  is  music, 
he  denied  the  music  of  life — it  is  an  old  philoso- 
phical superstition  that  all  music  is  Sirens'  music. — 
Now  we  should  be  inclined  at  the  present  day  to 
judge  precisely  in  the  opposite  manner  (which  in 
itself  might  be  just  as  false),  and  to  regard  ideas, 
with  their  cold,  anaemic  appearance,  and  not  even 
in  spite  of  this  appearance,  as  worse  seducers 
than  the  senses.  They  have  always  lived  on  the 
"  blood  "  of  the  philosopher,  they  always  consumed 
his  senses,  and  indeed,  if  you  will  believe  me, 
his  "  heart "  as  well.  Those  old  philosophers  were 
heartless:  philosophising  was  always  a  species  of 
vampirism.  At  the  sight  of  such  figures  even  as 
Spinoza,  do  you  not  feel  a  profoundly  enigma- 
tical and  disquieting  sort  of  impression  ?  Do  you 
not  see  the  drama  which  is  here  performed,  the 
constantly  increasing  pallor — ,  the  spiritualisation 
always  more  ideally  displayed?  Do  you  not 
imagine  some  long-concealed  blood-sucker  in  the 
background,  which  makes  its  beginning  with  the 
senses,  and  in  the  end  retains  or  leaves  behind 
nothing  but  bones  and  their  rattling  ? — I  mean 
categories,  formulae,  and  words  (for  you  will  pardon 
me  in  saying  that  what  remains  Oii  Spinoza,  amor 
intellectualis  dei,  is  rattling  and  nothing  more! 
What  is  amor,  what  is  deus,  when  they  have  lost 
every  drop  of  blood  ?  .  .  .)  In  summa :  all  philo- 
sophical idealism  has  hitherto  been  something  like 
a  disease,  where  it  has  not  been,  as  in  the  case  of 
Plato,  the  prudence  of  superabundant  and  danger- 
ous healthfulness,  the  fear  of  overpowerful  senses, 


sound  to  require  Plato's  idealism  ?     And  we  a 
fear  the  senses  because 

«  C^V^.."    as   Prejudice.-\t   follows    froni    the 

and  desire  mat  uimg  u^r.po  are  too  soon 

.„.  -^  « -^'  l^:r  Vof  exl  le>at  which 
quieted  and  set  at  rest,      r  „^^.  Spencer, 

makes  the  Pedantic  EnghshmanHertert^p         , 

so  enthusiastic  in  h,s  way    and  ^^^ 

draw  a  ""^^f  !>°P%%^°"  °^  and  altruism"  of 
'".^\Te"dtr-:that1lmo"  causes  nausea  to 
which  he  dreams    ^  .  ^       ^  Spencenan 

people  hke  us  :--a  humanity  ^^^  ^^^^^  ^^^^ 

rurSv'g  of  cttemp'   of  eKtermination ! 
"     But  the  /^that  something  has  to  be  taken  by 

r-  1,;.  highest  hope,  which  is  regarded,  and 

h.m  as  h  s  highest  np  ,  ^^^^j^  ^  ^ 

may  well   be  "[ega^dea,  oy  interrogation 

distasteful  possibility,  is  a  no  ...  u  is 

which  Spencer  ^^IX^^^,^':::^  at  present 
'"''  *'  Taleriitt  natal-scientists  are  content, 
TbeKt^o^which  is  supposed  to  have  its 


equivalent  and  measure  in  human  thinking  and 
human  valuations,  a  "  world  of  truth  "  at  which  we 
might  be  able  ultimately  to  arrive  with  the  help 
of  our  insignificant,  four-cornered  human  reason  ! 
What?  do  we  actually  wish  to  have  existence 
debased  in  that  fashion  to  a  ready-reckoner 
exercise  and  calculation  for  stay-at-home  mathe- 
maticians? We  should  not,  above  all,  seek  to 
divest  existence  of  its  ambiguous  character:  good 
taste  forbids  it,  gentlemen,  the  taste  of  reverence 
for  everything  that  goes  beyond  your  horizon ! 
That  a  world-interpretation  is  alone  right  by  which 
you  maintain  your  position,  by  which  investigation 
and  work  can  go  on  scientifically  in  your  sense 
(you  really  mean  mechanically?),  an  interpretation 
which  acknowledges  numbering,  calculating,  weigh- 
ing, seeing  and  handling,  and  nothing  more — such 
an  idea  is  a  piece  of  grossness  and  naivety,  pro- 
vided it  is  not  lunacy  and  idiocy.  Would  the 
reverse  not  be  quite  probable,  that  the  most  super- 
ficial and  external  characters  of  existence — its  most 
apparent  quality,  its  outside,  its  embodiment — 
should  let  themselves  be  apprehended  first?  per- 
haps alone  allow  themselves  to  be  apprehended  ? 
A  "  scientific "  interpretation  of  the  world  as  you 
understand  it  might  consequently  still  be  one  of 
the  stupidest,  that  is  to  say,  the  most  destitute 
of  significance,  of  all  possible  world-interpreta- 
tions : — I  say  this  in  confidence  to  my  friends  the 
Mechanicians,  who  to-day  like  to  hobnob  with 
philosophers,  and  absolutely  believe  that  mechanics 
is  the  teaching  of  the  first  and  last  laws  upon  which, 
as   upon   a  ground-floor,  all    existence   must   be 


built.  But  an  essentially  mechanical  world  would 
be  an  essentially  meaningless  world  !  Supposing  we 
valued  the  worth  of  a  music  with  reference  to  how 
much  it  could  be  counted,  calculated,  or  formulated 
— how  absurd  such  a  "  scientific  "  estimate  of  music 
would  be !  What  would  one  have  apprehended, 
understood,  or  discerned  in  it !  Nothing,  absolutely 
nothing  of  what  is  really  "  music  "  in  it !  .  .  . 

Our  nezv  '^  Infim'te." — How  far  the  perspective 
character  of  existence  extends,  or  whether  it  have 
any  other  character  at  all,  whether  an  existence 
without  explanation,  without  "sense"  does  not 
just  become  "nonsense,"  whether,  on  the  other 
hand,  all  existence  is  not  essentially  an  explaining 
existence — these  questions,  as  is  right  and  proper, 
cannot  be  determined  even  by  the  most  diligent 
and  severely  conscientious  analysis  and  self- 
examination  of  the  intellect,  because  in  this 
analysis  the  human  intellect  cannot  avoid  seeing 
itself  in  its  perspective  forms,  and  only  in  them. 
We  cannot  see  round  our  corner :  it  is  hopeless 
curiosity  to  want  to  know  what  other  modes  of 
intellect  and  perspective  there  might  be :  for 
example,  whether  any  kind  of  being  could  perceive 
time  backwards,  or  alternately  forwards  and  back- 
wards (by  which  another  direction  of  life  and  another 
conception  of  cause  and  effect  would  be  given). 
But  I  think  that  we  are  to-day  at  least  far  from 
the  ludicrous  immodesty  of  decreeing  from  our 
nook  that  there  can  only  be  legitimate  perspectives 
from  that  nook.     The  world,  on  the  contrary,  has 


once  more  become  "  infinite "  to  us :  in  so  far  we 
cannot  dismiss  the  possibility  that  it  contains 
infinite  interpretations.  Once  more  the  great  horror 
seizes  us — but  who  would  desire  forthwith  to  deify 
once  more  this  monster  of  an  unknown  world  in 
the  old  fashion  ?  And  perhaps  worship  the  unknown 
thing  as  the  "unknown  person"  in  future?  Ah! 
there  are  too  many  ungodly  possibilities  of  inter- 
pretation comprised  in  this  unknown,  too  much 
devilment,  stupidity  and  folly  of  interpretation, — 
our  own  human,  all  too  human  interpretation 
itself,  which  we  know.  .  .  . 

Why  we  Seem  to  be  Epicureans. — We  are  cautious, 
we  modern  men,  with  regard  to  final  convictions, 
our  distrust  lies  in  wait  for  the  enchantments  and 
tricks  of  conscience  involved  in  every  strong 
belief,  in  every  absolute  Yea  and  Nay :  how  is  this 
explained?  Perhaps  one  may  see  in  it  a  good 
deal  of  the  caution  of  the  "burnt  child,"  of  the 
disillusioned  idealist ;  but  one  may  also  see  in  it 
another  and  better  element,  the  joyful  curiosity 
of  a  former  lingerer  in  a  corner,  who  has 
been  brought  to  despair  by  his  nook,  and  now 
luxuriates  and  revels  in  its  antithesis,  in  the  un- 
bounded, in  the  "open  air  in  itself"  Thus  there 
is  developed  an  almost  Epicurean  inclination  for 
knowledge,  which  does  not  readily  lose  sight  of 
the  questionable  character  of  things;  likewise 
also  a  repugnance  to  pompous  moral  phrases  and 
attitudes,  a  taste  that  repudiates  all  coarse,  square 
contrasts,  and  is  proudly  conscious  of  its  habitual 


reserve.  For  this  too  constitutes  our  pride,  this 
easy  tightening  of  the  reins  in  our  headlong  im- 
pulse after  certainty,  this  self-control  of  the  rider  in 
his  most  furious  riding :  for  now,  as  of  old,  we  have 
mad,  fiery  steeds  under  us,  and  if  we  delay,  it  is 
certainly  least  of  all  the  danger  which  causes  us 
to  delay.  .  .  . 

Our  Slow  Periods.— It  is  thus  that  artists  feel, 
and  all  men  of  "works,"  the  maternal  species  of 
men  :  they  always  believe  at  every  chapter  of  their 
life— a  work  always  makes   a  chapter— that  they 
have   now   reached    the    goal   itself;    they  would 
always   patiently  accept   death  with   the   feeling : 
"we  are  ripe  for  it."     This  is  not  the  expression 
of    exhaustion,-but    rather    that    of    a    certain 
autumnal  sunniness  and  mildness,  which  the  work 
itself,   the   maturing  of  the   work,  always   leaves 
behind  in  its  originator.     Then  the  tempo  of  life 
slows  down— turns  thick  and  flows  with  honey— mto 
long  pauses,  into  the  belief  in  the  long  pause 

We  Homeless  Ones.—hmong  the  Europeans  of 
to-day  there  are  not  lacking  those  who  may  call 
themselves  homeless  ones  in  a  way  which  is  at  once 
a  distinction  and  an  honour ;  it  is  by  them  that  my 
secret  wisdom  and  gaya  scienza  is  especially  to  be 
laid  to  heart !  For  their  lot  is  hard,  their  hope  un- 
certain ;  it  is  a  clever  feat  to  devise  consolation  for 
them.  But  what  good  does  it  do!  We  children  of 
the  future,  how  could  ^^  be  at  home  in  the  present  ? 


We   are  unfavourable   to   all   ideals   which   could 
make  us  feel  at  home  in  this  frail,  broken-down, 
transition  period ;   and  as  regards  the  "  realities " 
thereof,  we  do  not  believe  in  their  endurance.     The 
ice  which  still  carries  has  become  very  thin :  the 
thawing  wind  blows ;   we  ourselves,  the  homeless 
ones,  are  an  agency  that  breaks  the  ice,  and  the 
other   too   thin   "realities."   ...   We   "preserve" 
nothing,  nor  would  we  return  to  any  past  age ;  we 
are  not  at  all  "  liberal,"  we  do  not  labour  for  "  pro- 
gress," we  do  not  need  first   to  stop  our  ears  to 
the  song  of  the   market-place   and  the  sirens   of 
the   future— their  song    of  "equal   rights,"   "free 
society,"  "no  longer  either  lords   or  slaves,"  does 
not  allure  us !     We  do  not  by  any  means  think  it 
desirable  that  the  kingdom  of  righteousness  and 
peace   should   be   established    on    earth   (because 
under     any     circumstances     it     would     be     the 
kingdom     of    the     profoundest    mediocrity    and 
Chinaism);  we  rejoice  in  all  men,  who  like  our- 
selves love  danger,  war  and   adventure,  who  do 
not     make     compromises,     nor     let     themselves 
be  captured,  conciliated   and   stunted;    we  count 
ourselves  among  the  conquerors ;  we  ponder  over 
the  need  of  a  new  order  of  things,  even  of  a  new 
slavery — for  every  strengthening  and  elevation  of  the 
type  "  man  "  also  involves  a  new  form  of  slavery. 
Is  it  not  obvious  that  with  all  this  we  must  feel  ill 
at  ease  in  an  age  which  claims  the  honour  of  being 
the  most  humane,  gentle  and  just  that  the  sun  has 
ever  seen  ?      What  a  pity  that  at  the  mere  mention 
of  these  fine  words,  the  thoughts  at  the  bottom 
of  our  hearts  are  all  the  more  unpleasant,  that  we 


see  therein  only  the  expression— or  the  masquerade 
—of  profound  weakening,  exhaustion,  age,  and  de- 
clining power !    What  can  it  matter  to  us  with  what 
kind  of  tinsel  an  invalid  decks  out  his  weakness  ? 
He  may  parade  it  as  his  virtue;  there  is  no  doubt 
whatever  that  weakness  makes  people  gentle,  alas, 
so  gentle,  so  just,  so  inoffensive,  so  "  humane  "  !— 
The  "  religion  of  pity,"  to  which  people  would  like 
to  persuade  us— yes,  we  know  sufficiently  well  the 
hysterical  little  men   and  women  who  need  this 
religion   at   present   as  a   cloak  and   adornment! 
We  are  no  humanitarians ;  we  should  not  dare  to 
speak  of  our  "  love  of  mankind  "  ;  for  that,  a  person 
of  our  stamp  is  not  enough  of  an  actor !     Or  not 
sufficiently  Saint-Simonist,  not  sufficiently  French. 
A  person  must  have  been  affected  with  a  Gallic 
excess  of  erotic  susceptibility   and   amorous   im- 
patience even  to  approach   mankind   honourably 
with    his    lewdness.  .  .  .  Mankind!      Was    there 
ever  a   more  hideous  old  woman   among  all  old 
women  (unless  perhaps  it  were  "the  Truth":   a 
question  for  philosophers)?     No,  we  do  not  love 
Mankind  !    On  the  other  hand,  however,  we  are  not 
nearly  «  German  "  enough  (in  the  sense  in  which  the 
word  «  German  "  is  current  at  present)  to  advocate 
nationalism  and  race-hatred,  or  take  delight  in  the 
national  heart-itch  and  blood-poisoning,  on  account 
of  which  the   nations  of  Europe   are  at  present 
bounded  off  and  secluded  from  one  another  as  if 
by  quarantines.     We  are  too  unprejudiced  for  that, 
too  perverse,  too  fastidious  ;  also  too  well-informed,' 
and  too  much  "  travelled."     We  prefer  much  rather 
to  live  on  mountains,  apart  and  "out  of  season,"  in 


past  or  coming  centuries,  in  order  merely  to  spare 
ourselves  the  silent  rage  to  which  we  know  we 
should  be  condemned  as  witnesses  of  a  system  of 
politics  which  makes  the  German  nation  barren 
by  making  it  vain,  and  which  is  a  petty 
system  besides: — will  it  not  be  necessary  for 
this  system  to  plant  itself  between  two  mortal 
hatreds,  lest  its  own  creation  should  immedi- 
ately collapse?  Will  it  not  be  obliged  to  desire 
the  perpetuation  of  the  petty-state  system  of 
Europe?  .  .  .  We  homeless  ones  are  too  diverse 
and  mixed  in  race  and  descent  for  "modern 
men,"  and  are  consequently  little  tempted  to 
participate  in  the  falsified  racial  self-admiration 
and  lewdness  which  at  present  display  themselves 
in  Germany,  as  signs  of  German  sentiment,  and 
which  strike  one  as  doubly  false  and  unbecoming 
in  the  people  with  the  "  historical  sense."  We  are, 
in  a  word — and  it  shall  be  our  word  of  honour ! — 
good  Europeans^  the  heirs  of  Europe,  the  rich, 
over-wealthy  heirs,  but  too  deeply  obligated  heirs 
of  millenniums  of  European  thought.  As  such, 
we  have  also  outgrown  Christianity,  and  are 
disinclined  to  it  —  and  just  because  we  have 
grown  out  of  it,  because  our  forefathers  were 
Christians  uncompromising  in  their  Christian  in- 
tegrity, who  willingly  sacrificed  possessions  and 
positions,  blood  and  country,  for  the  sake  of  their 
belief  We — do  the  same.  For  what,  then  ?  For 
our  unbelief?  For  all  sorts  of  unbelief?  Nay,  you 
know  better  than  that,  my  friends!  The  hidden 
Yea  in  you  is  stronger  than  all  the  Nays  and 
Perhapses,  of  which  you  and  your  age  are  sick ; 


and  when  you  are  obliged  to  put  out  to  sea,  you 
emigrants,  it  is — once  more  a  faith  which  urges 
you  thereto !  .  .  , 


"  And  once  more  Grow  Clear." — We,  the  generous 
and  rich  in  spirit,  who  stand  at  the  sides  of  the 
streets  like  open  fountains  and  would  hinder  no  1 

one  from  drinking  from  us :  we  do  not  know, 
alas !  how  to  defend  ourselves  when  we  should 
like  to  do  so ;  we  have  no  means  of  preventing 
ourselves  being  made  turbid  and  dark, — we  have 
no  means  of  preventing  the  age  in  which  we  live 
casting  its  "  up-to-date  rubbish "  into  us,  or  of 
hindering  filthy  birds  throwing  their  excrement, 
the  boys  their  trash,  and  fatigued  resting  travellers 
their  misery,  great  and  small,  into  us.  But  we 
do  as  we  have  always  done :  we  take  whatever 
is  cast  into  us  down  into  our  depths  —  for  we 
are  deep,  we  do  not  forget — and  once  more  grow 
clear.  .  .  . 

The  Foots  Interruption. — It  is  not  a  misanthrope 
who  has  written  this  book :  the  hatred  of  men  costs 
too  dear  to-day.  To  hate  as  they  formerly  hated 
man,  in  the  fashion  of  Timon,  completely,  without 
qualification,  with  all  the  heart,  from  the  pure  love 
of  hatred  —  for  that  purpose  one  would  have  to 
renounce  contempt :  —  and  how  much  refined 
pleasure,  how  much  patience,  how  much  bene- 
volence even,  do  we  owe  to  contempt !  Moreover 
we  are  thereby  the  "  elect  of  God  " :  refined  con- 
tempt is  our  taste  and  privilege,  our  art,  our  virtue 


perhaps,  we,  the  most  modern  amongst  the 
moderns !  .  .  .  Hatred,  on  the  contrary,  makes 
equal,  it  puts  men  face  to  face,  in  hatred  there  is 
honour ;  finally,  in  hatred  there  is  fear,  quite  a 
large  amount  of  fear.  We  fearless  ones,  however, 
we,  the  most  intellectual  men  of  the  period, 
know  our  advantage  well  enough  to  live  without 
fear  as  the  most  intellectual  persons  of  this  age. 
People  will  not  easily  behead  us,  shut  us  up, 
or  banish  us  ;  they  will  not  even  ban  or  burn 
our  books.  The  age  loves  intellect,  it  loves  us, 
and  needs  us,  even  when  we  have  to  give  it  to 
understand  that  we  are  artists  in  despising ;  that 
all  intercourse  with  men  is  something  of  a  horror 
to  us ;  that  with  all  our  gentleness,  patience, 
humanity  and  courteousness,  we  cannot  persuade 
our  nose  to  abandon  its  prejudice  against  the 
proximity  of  man  ;  that  we  love  nature  the  more, 
the  less  humanly  things  are  done  by  her,  and 
that  we  love  art  when  it  is  the  flight  of  the  artist 
from  man,  or  the  raillery  of  the  artist  at  man,  or  the 
raillery  of  the  artist  at  himself.  .  .  . 

"  77^!^  Wanderer  "  Speaks. — In  order  for  once  to 
get  a  glimpse  of  our  European  morality  from  a 
distance,  in  order  to  compare  it  with  other  earlier 
or  future  moralities,  one  must  do  as  the  traveller 
who  wants  to  know  the  height  of  the  towers  of 
a  city:  for  that  purpose  he  /eaves  the  city. 
"Thoughts  concerning  moral  prejudices,"  if  they 
are  not  to  be  prejudices  concerning  prejudices, 
presuppose   a   position   outside  of  morality,  some 


sort  of  world  beyond  good  and  evil,  to  which 
one  must  ascend,  climb,  or  fly — and  in  the  given 
case  at  any  rate,  a  position  beyond  our  good  and 
evil,  an  emancipation  from  all  "  Europe,"  under- 
stood as  a  sum  of  inviolable  valuations  which  have 
become  part  and  parcel  of  our  flesh  and  blood. 
That  one  does  want  to  get  outside,  or  aloft, 
is  perhaps  a  sort  of  madness,  a  peculiar,  un- 
reasonable "  thou  must " — for  even  we  thinkers 
have  our  idiosyncrasies  of  "unfree  will" — :  the 
question  is  whether  one  can  really  get  there.  That 
may  depend  on  manifold  conditions :  in  the  main 
it  is  a  question  of  how  light  or  how  heavy  we 
are,  the  problem  of  our  "specific  gravity."  One 
must  be  very  light  in  order  to  impel  one's  will  to 
knowledge  to  such  a  distance,  and  as  it  were  beyond 
one's  age,  in  order  to  create  eyes  for  oneself  for  the 
survey  of  millenniums,  and  a  pure  heaven  in  these 
eyes  besides !  One  must  have  freed  oneself  from 
many  things  by  which  we  Europeans  of  to-day  are 
oppressed,  hindered,  held  down,  and  made  heavy. 
The  man  of  such  a  "  Beyond,"  who  wants  to  get 
even  in  sight  of  the  highest  standards  of  worth  of 
his  age,  must  first  of  all  "surmount"  this  age  in  him- 
self— it  is  the  test  of  his  power — and  consequently 
not  only  his  age,  but  also  his  past  aversion  and 
opposition  to  his  age,  his  suffering  caused  by  his 
age,  his  unseasonableness,  his  Romanticism.  .  .  . 

The   Question  of  Intelligibility. — One  not  only 
wants  to  be  understood  when  one  writes,  but  also 
— quite  as  certainly — not  to  be  understood.     It  is 


by  no  means  an  objection  to  a  book  when  someone 
finds  it  unintelligible  :  perhaps  this  might  just  have 
been  the  intention  of  its  author, — perhaps  he  did 
not    want   to    be    understood    by    "anyone."      A 
distinguished  intellect  and  taste,  when  it  wants  to 
communicate  its  thoughts,  always  selects  its  hearers; 
by  selecting  them,  it  at  the  same  time  closes  its 
barriers  against  "  the  others."     It  is  there  that  all 
the  more  refined  laws  of  style  have  their  origin : 
they  at  the  same  time  keep  off,  they  create  distance, 
they  prevent  "access"  (intelligibility,  as  we  have 
said,) — while   they  open   the  ears   of  those  who 
are  acoustically  related  to  them.     And  to  say  it 
between  ourselves  and  with  reference  to  my  own 
case, — I  do  not  desire  that  either  my  ignorance,  or 
the  vivacity  of  my  temperament,  should  prevent  me 
being  understood  by  you,  my  friends  :    I  certainly 
do  not  desire  that  my  vivacity  should   have  that 
effect,  however  much  it  may  impel  me  to  arrive 
quickly  at  an  object,  in  order  to  arrive  at  it  at  all. 
For  I  think  it  is  best  to  do  with  profound  problems 
as  with  a  cold  bath — quickly  in,  quickly  out.     That 
one  does  not  thereby  get  into  the  depths,  that  one 
does  not  get  deep  enough  down — is  a  superstition 
of  the  hydrophobic,  the  enemies  of  cold  water ;  they 
speak   without   experience.     Oh !    the  great   cold 
makes  one  quick ! — And  let  me  ask  by  the  way : 
Is  it  a  fact  that  a  thing  has  been  misunderstood 
and  unrecognised  when  it  has  only  been  touched 
upon   in   passing,  glanced   at,  flashed  at?     Must 
one    absolutely   sit    upon    it    in    the   first    place? 
Must  one  have  brooded  on  it  as  on  an  &^^  ?     Diu 
noctuque  incubando,  as  Newton  said  of  himself?     At 


least  there  are  truths  of  a  peculiar  shyness  and 
ticklishness  which  one  can  only  get  hold  of  suddenly, 
and  in  no  other  way, — which  one  must  either  take 
by  surprise,  or  leave  alone.  .  .  .  Finally,  my  brevity 
has  still  another  value :  on  those  questions  which 
pre-occupy  me,  I  must  say  a  great  deal  briefly,  in 
order  that  it  may  be  heard  yet  more  briefly.  For 
as  immoralist,  one  has  to  take  care  lest  one  ruins 
innocence,  I  mean  the  asses  and  old  maids  of  both 
sexes,  who  get  nothing  from  life  but  their  in- 
nocence ;  moreover  my  writings  are  meant  to  fill 
them  with  enthusiasm,  to  elevate  them,  to  encourage 
them  in  virtue.  I  should  be  at  a  loss  to  know  of 
anything  more  amusing  than  to  see  enthusiastic 
old  asses  and  maids  moved  by  the  sweet  feelings 
of  virtue:  and  "that  have  I  seen"— spake  Zara- 
thustra.  So  much  with  respect  to  brevity;  the 
matter  stands  worse  as  regards  my  ignorance,  of 
which  I  make  no  secret  to  myself.  There  are  hours 
in  which  I  am  ashamed  of  it ;  to  be  sure  there  are 
likewise  hours  in  which  I  am  ashamed  of  this 
shame.  Perhaps  we  philosophers,  all  of  us,  are 
badly  placed  at  present  with  regard  to  knowledge : 
science  is  growing,  the  most  learned  of  us  are  on 
the  point  of  discovering  that  we  know  too  little. 

But  it  would  be  worse  still  if  it  were  otherwise, 

if  we  knew  too  much ;  our  duty  is  and  remains 
first  of  all,  not  to  get  into  confusion  about 
ourselves.  We  are  different  from  the  learned; 
although  it  cannot  be  denied  that  amongst  other 
things  we  are  also  learned.  We  have  different 
needs,  a  different  growth,  a  different  digestion  :  we 
need  more,  we  need  also  less.    There  is  no  formula 


as  to  how  much  an  intellect  needs  for  its  nourish- 
ment ;  if,  however,  its  taste  be  in  the  direction  of 
independence,  rapid  coming  and  going,  travelling, 
and  perhaps  adventure  for  which  only  the  swiftest 
are  qualified,  it  prefers  rather  to  live  free  on  poor 
fare,  than  to  be  unfree  and  plethoric.  Not  fat,  but 
the  greatest  suppleness  and  power  is  what  a  good 
dancer  wishes  from  his  nourishment, — and  I  know 
not  what  the  spirit  of  a  philosopher  would  like 
better  than  to  be  a  good  dancer.  For  the  dance 
is  his  ideal,  and  also  his  art,  in  the  end  likewise  his 
sole  piety,  his  "  divine  service."  .  ,  , 

Great  Healthiness.  —  We,  the  new,  the  name- 
less, the  hard-to-understand,  we  firstlings  of  a  yet 
untried  future — we  require  for  a  new  end  also  a 
new  means,  namely,  a  new  healthiness,  stronger, 
sharper,  tougher,  bolder  and  merrier  than  any 
healthiness  hitherto.  He  whose  soul  longs  to  ex- 
perience the  whole  range  of  hitherto  recognised 
values  and  desirabilities,  and  to  circumnavigate  all 
the  coasts  of  this  ideal  "  Mediterranean  Sea,"  who, 
from  the  adventures  of  his  most  personal  experience, 
wants  to  know  how  it  feels  to  be  a  conqueror  and 
discoverer  of  the  ideal — as  likewise  how  it  is  with 
the  artist,  the  saint,  the  legislator,  the  sage,  the 
scholar,  the  devotee,  the  prophet,  and  the  godly 
Nonconformist  of  the  old  style: — requires  one 
thing  above  all  for  that  purpose,  great  healthiness — 
such  healthiness  as  one  not  only  possesses,  but 
also  constantly  acquires  and  must  acquire,  because 
one  continually  sacrifices  it  again,  and  must  sacri- 


fice  it ! — And  now,  after  having  been  long  on  the 
way  in  this  fashion,  we  Argonauts  of  the  ideal,  who 
are  more  courageous  perhaps  than  prudent,  and  often 
enough  shipwrecked  and  brought  to  grief,  neverthe- 
less, as   said   above,  healthier  than  people  would 
like  to  admit,  dangerously  healthy,  always  healthy 
again, — it  would  seem,  as  if  in  recompense  for  it 
all,  that  we  have  a  still  undiscovered  country  before 
us,  the  boundaries  of  which  no  one  has  yet  seen, 
a   beyond    to   all   countries    and    corners   of  the 
ideal  known  hitherto,  a  world  so  over-rich  in  the 
beautiful,  the  strange,  the  questionable,  the  frightful, 
and  the  divine,  that  our  curiosity  as  well  as  our 
thirst  for  possession  thereof,  have  got  out  of  hand — 
alas  !  that  nothing  will  now  any  longer  satisfy  us ! 
How  could  we  still  be  content  with  Ike  man  of 
the  present  day  after  such  peeps,  and  with  such  a 
craving    in    our    conscience    and    consciousness? 
What  a  pity ;  but  it  is  unavoidable  that  we  should 
look  on  the  worthiest  aims  and  hopes  of  the  man 
of  the  present  day  with  ill-concealed  amusement, 
and    perhaps    should    no    longer    look    at    them. 
Another  ideal  runs  on  before  us,  a  strange,  tempting 
ideal,  full  of  danger,  to  which  we  should  not  like 
to  persuade  any  one,  because  we  do  not  so  readily 
acknowledge   any  one's   right  thereto:    the  ideal 
of    a  spirit   who    plays   naively  (that    is    to   say 
involuntarily  and  from  overflowing  abundance  and 
power)  with   everything  that    has    hitherto   been 
called  holy,  good,  inviolable,  divine ;  to  whom  the 
loftiest  conception  which  the  people  have  reason- 
ably made  their  measure  of  value,  would  already 
imply  danger,  ruin,  abasement,  or  at  least  relaxation, 


blindness,  or  temporary  self-forgetfulness  ;  the  ideal 
of  a  humanly  superhuman  welfare  and  benevolence, 
which  may  often  enough  appear  inhuman,  for 
example,  when  put  by  the  side  of  all  past  serious- 
ness on  earth,  and  in  comparison  with  all  past 
solemnities  in  bearing,  word,  tone,  look,  morality 
and  pursuit,  as  their  truest  involuntary  parody, — 
but  with  which,  nevertheless,  perhaps  the  great 
seriousness  only  commences,  the  proper  interroga- 
tion mark  is  set  up,  the  fate  of  the  soul  changes, 
the  hour-hand  moves,  and  tragedy  begins.  .  .  . 

Epilogue. — But  while  I  slowly,  slowly  finish  the 
painting  of  this  sombre  interrogation-mark,  and  am 
still  inclined  to  remind  my  readers  of  the  virtues  of 
right  reading — oh,  what  forgotten  and  unknown 
virtues — it  comes  to  pass  that  the  wickedest, 
merriest,  gnome-like  laughter  resounds  around  me  : 
the  spirits  of  my  book  themselves  pounce  upon  me, 
pull  me  by  the  ears,  and  call  me  to  order.  "  We 
cannot  endure  it  any  longer,"  they  shout  to  me, 
"away,  away  with  this  raven-black  music.  Is  it 
not  clear  morning  round  about  us  ?  And  green,  soft 
ground  and  turf,  the  domain  of  the  dance  ?  Was 
there  ever  a  better  hour  in  which  to  be  joyful? 
Who  will  sing  us  a  song,  a  morning  song,  so  sunny, 
so  light  and  so  fledged  that  it  will  not  scare  the 
tantrums, — but  will  rather  invite  them  to  take  part 
in  the  singing  and  dancing.  And  better  a  simple 
rustic  bagpipe  than  such  weird  sounds,  such  toad- 
croakings,  grave-voices  and  marmot-pipings,  with 
which  you  have  hitherto  regaled  us  in  your  wilder- 


ness,  Mr  Anchorite  and  Musician  of  the  Future ! 
No !  Not  such  tones !  But  let  us  strike  up  some- 
thing more  agreeable  and  more  joyful!" — You 
would  like  to  have  it  so,  my  impatient  friends? 
Well!  Who  would  not  willingly  accede  to  your 
wishes?  My  bagpipe  is  waiting,  and  my  voice 
also— it  may  sound  a  little  hoarse ;  take  it  as  it  is ! 
don't  forget  we  are  in  the  mountains !  But  what 
you  will  hear  is  at  least  new ;  and  if  you  do  not 
understand  it,  if  you  misunderstand  the  minstrel, 
what  does  it  matter !  That— has  always  been  "  The 
Minstrel's  Curse."  *  So  much  the  more  distinctly 
can  you  hear  his  music  and  melody,  so  much  the 
better  also  can  you— dance  to  his  piping.  Would 
you  like  to  do  that?  .  .  . 

*  Title  of  the  well-known  poem  of  Uhland.— Tr. 





"  The  Undecaying  " 
Is  but  thy  label, 
God  the  betraying 
Is  poets'  fable. 

Our  aims  all  are  thwarted 
By  the  World-wheel's  blind  roll : 
"  Doom,"  says  the  downhearted, 
"  Sport,"  says  the  fool. 

The  World-sport,  all-ruling, 
Mingles  false  with  true : 
The  Eternally  Fooling 
Makes  us  play,  too ! 

*  This  poem  is  a  parody  of  the  "  Chorus  Mysticus  "  which 
concludes  the  second  part  of  Goethe's  "Faust."  Bayard 
Taylor's  translation  of  the  passage  in  "Faust"  runs  as 
follows : — 

"  All  things  transitory 

But  as  symbols  are  sent, 

Earth's  insufficiency 

Here  grows  to  Event : 

The  Indescribable 

Here  it  is  done  : 

The  Woman-Soul  leadeth  us 

Upward  and  on  ! " 




As  'neath  a  shady  tree  I  sat 

After  long  toil  to  take  my  pleasure, 
I  heard  a  tapping  "  pit-a-pat " 

Beat  prettily  in  rhythmic  measure. 
Tho'  first  I  scowled,  my  face  set  hard, 

The  sound  at  length  my  sense  entrapping 
Forced  me  to  speak  like  any  bard. 

And  keep  true  time  unto  the  tapping. 

As  I  made  verses,  never  stopping, 

Each  syllable  the  bird  went  after. 
Keeping  in  time  with  dainty  hopping ! 

I  burst  into  unmeasured  laughter ! 
What,  you  a  poet  ?     You  a  poet  ? 

Can  your  brains  truly  so  addled  be  ? 
"  Yes,  yes,  good  sir,  you  are  a  poet," 

Chirped  out  the  pecker,  mocking  me. 

What  doth  me  to  these  woods  entice  ? 

The  chance  to  give  some  thief  a  trouncing  ? 
A  saw,  an  image  ?     Ha,  in  a  trice 

My  rhyme  is  on  it,  swiftly  pouncing ! 
All  things  that  creep  or  crawl  the  poet 

Weaves  in  his  word-loom  cunningly. 
"  Yes,  yes,  good  sir,  you  are  a  poet," 

Chirped  out  the  pecker,  mocking  me. 

Like  to  an  arrow,  methinks,  a  verse  is, 
See  how  it  quivers,  pricks  and  smarts 

When  shot  full  straight  (no  tender  mercies !) 
Into  the  reptile's  nobler  parts ! 


Wretches,  you  die  at  the  hand  of  the  poet, 
Or  stagger  like  men  that  have  drunk  too  free. 

"  Yes,  yes,  good  sir,  you  are  a  poet," 
Chirped  out  the  pecker,  mocking  me. 

So  they  go  hurrying,  stanzas  malign. 

Drunken  words — what  a  clattering,  banging ! — 
Till  the  whole  company,  line  on  line, 

All  on  the  rhythmic  chain  are  hanging. 
Has  he  really  a  cruel  heart,  your  poet  ? 

Are  there  fiends  who  rejoice,   the   slaughter 
to  see  ? 
*'  Yes,  yes,  good  sir,  you  are  a  poet," 

Chirped  out  the  pecker,  mocking  me. 

So  you  jest  at  me,   bird,   with   your   scornful 
graces  ? 

So  sore  indeed  is  the  plight  of  my  head  ? 
And  my  heart,  you  say,  in  yet  sorrier  case  is  ? 

Beware !  for  my  wrath  is  a  thing  to  dread  ! 
Yet  e'en  in  the  hour  of  his  wrath  the  poet 

Rhymes  you  and  sings  with  the  selfsame  glee. 
"  Yes,  yes,  good  sir,  you  are  a  poet," 

Chirped  out  the  pecker,  mocking  me. 

IN    THE   SOUTH.* 

I  swing  on  a  bough,  and  rest 
My  tired  limbs  in  a  nest, 
In  the  rocking  home  of  a  bird, 
Wherein  I  perch  as  his  guest, 
In  the  South ! 

*  Translated  by  Miss  M.  D.  Petre.  Inserted  by  per- 
mission of  the  editor  of  the  Nation^  in  which  it  appeared 
on  April  17,  1909. 


I  gaze  on  the  ocean  asleep, 
On  the  purple  sail  of  a  boat ; 
On  the  harbour  and  tower  steep, 
On  the  rocks  that  stand  out  of  the  deep, 
In  the  South ! 

For  I  could  no  longer  stay, 
To  crawl  in  slow  German  way  ; 
So  I  called  to  the  birds,  bade  the  wind 
Lift  me  up  and  bear  me  away 
To  the  South ! 

No  reasons  for  me,  if  you  please ; 
Their  end  is  too  dull  and  too  plain ; 
But  a  pair  of  wings  and  a  breeze, 
With  courage  and  health  and  ease, 
And  games  that  chase  disease 
From  the  South ! 

Wise  thoughts  can  move  without  sound. 
But  I've  songs  that  I  can't  sing  alone ; 
So  birdies,  pray  gather  around. 
And  listen  to  what  I  have  found 
In  the  South ! 

"  You  are  merry  lovers  and  false  and  gay, 
"  In  frolics  and  sport  you  pass  the  day ; 
"  Whilst  in  the  North,  I  shudder  to  say, 
"  I  worshipped  a  woman,  hideous  and  gray, 
"  Her  name  was  Truth,  so  I  heard  them  say, 
"  But  I  left  her  there  and  I  flew  away 
"  To  the  South  ! " 



While  beauty  in  my  face  is, 

Be  piety  my  care, 
For  God,  you  know,  loves  lasses, 

And,  more  than  all,  the  fair. 
And  if  yon  hapless  monkling 

Is  fain  with  me  to  live, 
Like  many  another  monkling, 

God  surely  will  forgive. 

No  grey  old  priestly  devil, 

But,  young,  with  cheeks  aflame- 
Who  e'en  when  sick  with  revel, 

Can  jealous  be  and  blame. 
To  greybeards  I'm  a  stranger, 

And  he,  too,  hates  the  old : 
Of  God,  the  world-arranger, 

The  wisdom  here  behold  ! 

The  Church  has  ken  of  living. 

And  tests  by  heart  and  face. 
To  me  she'll  be  forgiving ! 

Who  will  not  show  me  grace  ? 
I  lisp  with  pretty  halting, 

I  curtsey,  bid  "  good  day," 
And  with  the  fresh  defaulting 

I  wash  the  old  away ! 

Praise  be  this  man-God's  guerdon. 

Who  loves  all  maidens  fair, 
And  his  own  heart  can  pardon 

The  sin  he  planted  there. 


While  beauty  in  my  face  is, 

With  piety  I'll  stand, 
When  age  has  killed  my  graces, 

Let  Satan  claim  my  hand ! 


Yester-eve,  when  all  things  slept — 
Scarce  a  breeze  to  stir  the  lane — 

I  a  restless  vigil  kept, 

Nor  from  pillows  sleep  could  gain, 

Nor  from  poppies  nor — most  sure 

Of  opiates — a  conscience  pure. 

Thoughts  of  rest  I  'gan  forswear, 
Rose  and  walked  along  the  strand. 

Found,  in  warm  and  moonlit  air, 
Man  and  boat  upon  the  sand, 

Drowsy  both,  and  drowsily 

Did  the  boat  put  out  to  sea. 

Passed  an  hour  or  two  perchance, 
Or  a  year  ?  then  thought  and  sense 

Vanished  in  the  engulfing  trance 
Of  a  vast  Indifference. 

Fathomless,  abysses  dread 

Opened — then  the  vision  fled. 

Morning  came :  becalmed,  the  boat 
Rested  on  the  purple  flood  : 

"  What  had  happened  ?  "  every  throat 
Shrieked  the   question :    "  was  there- 
Blood  ? " 

Naught  had  happened  !     On  the  swell 

We  had  slumbered,  oh,  so  well ! 


{during  which^  however^  the  poet  fell  into  a  pit). 

Oh  marvel !  there  he  flies 
Cleaving  the  sky  with  wings  unmoved — what  force 

Impels  him,  bids  him  rise, 
What  curb  restrains  him?     Where's  his  goal,  his 
course  ? 

Like  stars  and  time  eterne 
He  liveth  now  in  heights  that  life  forswore, 

Nor  envy's  self  doth  spurn  : 
A  lofty  flight  were't,  e'en  to  see  him  soar ! 

Oh  albatross,  great  bird, 
Speeding  me  upward  ever  through  the  blue ! 

I  thought  of  her,  was  stirred 
To  tears  unending — yea,  I  love  her  true ! 


Here  I  lie,  my  bowels  sore. 

Hosts  of  bugs  advancing. 
Yonder  lights  and  romp  and  roar ! 

What's  that  sound  ?     They're  dancing ! 

At  this  instant,  so  she  prated, 

Stealthily  she'd  meet  me  : 
Like  a  faithful  dog  I've  waited, 

Not  a  sign  to  greet  me ! 

She  promised,  made  the  cross-sign,  too. 

Could  her  vows  be  hollow  ? 
Or  runs  she  after  all  that  woo. 

Like  the  goats  I  follow  ? 


Whence  your  silken  gown,  my  maid  ? 

Ah,  you'd  fain  be  haughty, 
Yet  perchance  you've  proved  a  jade 

With  some  satyr  naughty ! 

Waiting  long,  the  lovelorn  wight 

Is  filled  with  rage  and  poison : 
Even  so  on  sultry  night 

Toadstools  grow  in  foison. 

Pinching  sore,  in  devil's  mood, 

Love  doth  plague  my  crupper : 
Truly  I  can  eat  no  food  : 

Farewell,  onion-supper ! 

Seaward  sinks  the  moon  away, 
The  stars  are  wan,  and  flare  not : 

Dawn  approaches,  gloomy,  grey. 
Let  Death  come !  I  care  not ! 


Souls  that  lack  determination 

Rouse  my  wrath  to  white-hot  flame ! 

All  their  glory's  but  vexation, 

All  their  praise  but  self-contempt  and  shame ! 

Since  I  baffle  their  advances. 

Will  not  clutch  their  leading-string. 

They  would  wither  me  with  glances 
Bitter-sweet,  with  hopeless  envy  sting. 

Let  them  with  fell  curses  shiver. 

Curl  their  lip  the  livelong  day ! 
Seek  me  as  they  will,  forever 

Helplessly  their  eyes  shall  go  astray ! 



Ah,  what  I  wrote  on  board  and  wall 
With  foolish  heart,  in  foolish  scrawl, 
I  meant  but  for  their  decoration  ! 

Yet  say  you,  "  Fools'  abomination  ! 
Both  board  and  wall  require  purgation, 
And  let  no  trace  our  eyes  appal ! " 

Well,  I  will  help  you,  as  I  can. 

For  sponge  and  broom  are  my  vocation. 

As  critic  and  as  waterman. 

But  when  the  finished  work  I  scan, 
I'm  glad  to  see  each  learned  owl 
With  "  wisdom  "  board  and  wall  defoul. 


{or  a  Consolation  to  Sick  Poets). 

From  thy  moist  lips, 
O  Time,  thou  witch,  beslavering  me, 
Hour  upon  hour  too  slowly  drips 
In  vain — I  cry,  in  frenzy's  fit, 
"  A  curse  upon  that  yawning  pit, 
A  curse  upon  Eternity ! " 

The  world's  of  brass, 
A  fiery  bullock,  deaf  to  wail ; 
Pain's  dagger  pierces  my  cuirass, 
Winged,  and  writes  upon  my  bone : 
"  Bowels  and  heart  the  world  hath  none. 
Why  scourge  her  sins  with  anger's  flail  ? ' 


Pour  poppies  now, 
Pour  venom,  Fever,  on  my  brain ! 
Too  long  you  test  my  hand  and  brow  : 
What  ask  you  ?     "  What — reward  is  paid  ?  " 
A  malediction  on  you,  jade. 
And  your  disdain ! 

No,  I  retract, 
'Tis  cold —  I  hear  the  rain  importune — 
Fever,  I'll  soften,  show  my  tact : 
Here's  gold — a  coin — see  it  gleam  ! 
Shall  I  with  blessings  on  you  beam, 
Call  you  "  good  fortune  "  ? 

The  door  opes  wide. 
And  raindrops  on  my  bed  are  scattered. 
The  light's  blown  out — woes  multiplied ! 
He  that  hath  not  an  hundred  rhymes, 
I'll  wager,  in  these  dolorous  times 
We'd  see  him  shattered ! 


Once  more,  St  Mark,  thy  pigeons  meet  my  gaze. 

The  Square  lies  still,  in  slumbering  morning  mood : 
In  soft,  cool  air  I  fashion  idle  lays. 
Speeding  them  skyward  like  a  pigeon's  brood  : 
And  then  recall  my  minions 
To  tie  fresh  rhymes  upon  their  willing  pinions. 
My  bliss !     My  bliss  ! 

Calm  heavenly  roof  of  azure  silkiness, 

Guarding  with  shimmering  haze  yon  house  divine! 
Thee,  house,  I  love,  fear — envy,  I'll  confess, 


And  gladly  would  suck  out  that  soul  of  thine ! 
"  Should  I  give  back  the  prize  ?  " 
Ask  not,  great  pasture-ground  for  human  eyes  ! 
My  bliss  !     My  bliss  ! 

Stern  belfry,  rising  as  with  lion's  leap 
Sheer  from  the  soil  in  easy  victory. 
That  fill'st  the  Square  with  peal  resounding,  deep, 
Wert  thou  in  French  that  Square's  «  accent  aigu  "'  ? 
Were  I  for  ages  set 

In  earth  like  thee,  I  know  what  silk-meshed  net 

My  bliss !     My  bliss ! 

Hence,  music  !     First  let  darker  shadows  come, 

And  grow,  and  merge  into  brown,  mellow  night » 
'Tis  early  for  your  pealing,  ere  the  dome 
Sparkle  in  roseate  glory,  gold-bedight 
While  yet  'tis  day,  there's  time 
For  strolling,  lonely  muttering,  forging  rhyme— 
My  bliss !     My  bliss  I 


Thither  I'll  travel,  that's  my  notion, 

I'll  trust  myself,  my  grip, 
Where  opens  wide  and  blue  the  ocean 

I'll  ply  my  Genoa  ship. 

New  things  on  new  the  world  unfolds  me, 
Time,  space  with  noonday  die : 

Alone  thy  monstrous  eye  beholds  me. 
Awful  Infinity  I 



Here  sat  I  waiting,  waiting,  but  for  naught  1 
Beyond  all  good  and  evil — now  by  light  wrought 

To  joy,  now  by  dark  shadows — all  was  leisure, 
All  lake,  all  noon,  all  time  sans  aim,  sans  measure. 

Then  one,  dear  friend,  was  swiftly  changed  to  twain, 
And  Zarathustra  left  my  teeming  brain.  .  .  . 


Wildly  rushing,  clouds  outleaping, 
Care-destroying,  Heaven  sweeping, 

Mistral  wind,  thou  art  my  friend ! 
Surely  'twas  one  womb  did  bear  us, 
Surely  'twas  one  fate  did  pair  us, 

Fellows  for  a  common  end. 

From  the  crags  I  gaily  greet  you, 
Running  fast  I  come  to  meet  you. 

Dancing  while  you  pipe  and  sing. 
How  you  bound  across  the  ocean, 
Unimpeded,  free  in  motion, 

Swifter  than  with  boat  or  wing ! 

*  Translated  by  Miss  M.  D.  Petre.  Inserted  by  permis- 
sion of  the  editor  of  the  Nation^  in  which  it  appeared 
on  May  15,  1909. 


Through  my  dreams  your  whistle  sounded, 
Down  the  rocky  stairs  I  bounded 

To  the  golden  ocean  wall ; 
Saw  you  hasten,  swift  and  glorious, 
Like  a  river,  strong,  victorious. 

Tumbling  in  a  waterfall. 

Saw  you  rushing  over  Heaven, 
With  your  steeds  so  wildly  driven. 

Saw  the  car  in  which  you  flew  ; 
Saw  the  lash  that  wheeled  and  quivered, 
While  the  hand  that  held  it  shivered, 

Urging  on  the  steeds  anew. 

Saw  you  from  your  chariot  swinging. 
So  that  swifter  downward  springing 

Like  an  arrow  you  might  go 
Straight  into  the  deep  abysses, 
As  a  sunbeam  falls  and  kisses 

Roses  in  the  morning  glow. 

Dance,  oh !  dance  on  all  the  edges. 
Wave-crests,  cliffs  and  mountain  ledges, 

Ever  finding  dances  new ! 
Let  our  knowledge  be  our  gladness, 
Let  our  art  be  sport  and  madness. 

All  that's  joyful  shall  be  true ! 

Let  us  snatch  from  every  bower, 
As  we  pass,  the  fairest  flower. 

With  some  leaves  to  make  a  crown  ; 
Then,  like  minstrels  gaily  dancing. 
Saint  and  witch  together  prancing. 

Let  us  foot  it  up  and  down. 


Those  who  come  must  move  as  quickly 
As  the  wind — we'll  have  no  sickly, 

Crippled,  withered,  in  our  crew  ; 
Off  with  hypocrites  and  preachers, 
Proper  folk  and  prosy  teachers, 

Sweep  them  from  our  heaven  blue. 

Sweep  away  all  sad  grimaces, 
Whirl  the  dust  into  the  faces 

Of  the  dismal  sick  and  cold  ! 
Hunt  them  from  our  breezy  places. 
Not  for  them  the  wind  that  braces, 

But  for  men  of  visage  bold. 

Off  with  those  who  spoil  earth's  gladness, 
Blow  away  all  clouds  of  sadness, 

Till  our  heaven  clear  we  see ; 
Let  me  hold  thy  hand,  best  fellow, 
Till  my  joy  like  tempest  bellow ! 

Freest  thou  of  spirits  free ! 

When  thou  partest,  take  a  token 
Of  the  joy  thou  hast  awoken, 

Take  our  wreath  and  fling  it  far ; 
Toss  it  up  and  catch  it  never, 
Whirl  it  on  before  thee  ever. 

Till  it  reach  the  farthest  star. 











.1^,3  121982 



f^-"  2  J?  1095